Cornwall planning for Biodiversity Guide

What is the Biodiversity Guide?

“Adopted as a Council document on 16 October 2018, the Biodiversity Guide sets out a new approach by Cornwall Council for achieving a gain for nature within development sites. It does this by encouraging more biodiverse green and blue space within development sites, such as parks, ponds and corridors of open green space along rivers and hedges. It also gives prescriptive measures for the provision of bat and bird boxes, and bee bricks to make space for nature and the expected quality of ecological reporting for planning applications. A healthy and biodiverse natural environment is good for both nature and humans.

Biodiversity means having as wide a range of different species as possible. Maintaining biodiversity is an important part of using the environment in a sustainable way. It’s important that our activities, including the development of the built environment does not cause the loss of biodiversity and so it needs to make space for nature.

This document sets out an approach to securing net gain in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework (2018), however this approach is now evolving towards additional guidance and standards. In the Spring Statement, the Chancellor announced that the Government intends to mandate biodiversity net gain for planning applications in England. The Council is now preparing for this introduction and will be publishing proposals for starting to collect further biodiversity data on all major applications from late summer 2019. This guidance will be amended as this approach becomes more established. The Council’s net gain approach will be subject to engagement with stakeholders as it develops and a timetable for this engagement will be published in due course.