FOI Disclosure Log

Customer Request Details

19 July 2021

- When is the Local Planning Authority planning to introduce Biodiversity Net Gain as a mandatory requirement for all small development projects in the LPA’s jurisdiction? Please provide a specific date and a short definition of what the LPA classes as a ‘small development project’.

 

- If a specific date has not yet been decided, does your Local Planning Authority intend to introduce a requirement for planning applications to include localised Biodiversity Net Gain plans for small development project within the 24 months following the passing of the Environment Bill? (Please define ‘Biodiversity Gain Plan’ as any document that is analogous to the type of document specified in the Environment Bill).

 

- Is there any material that sets out what criteria a Biodiversity Gain Plan needs to meet in order to be accepted by the authority for a small development project? If such material exists please can it be attached to your response. If such material does not exist, please provide a brief description of what criteria a Biodiversity Gain Plan needs to meet within your LPA. (Again, please define ‘Biodiversity Gain Plan’ as any document that is analogous to the type of document specified in the Environment Bill).

 

- Who is the official at your Local Planning Authority that is tasked with ensuring that Biodiversity Net Gain is implemented for the LPA?

 

- Does the LPA’s approach to Net Gain require all ‘Biodiversity Gain Plans’ to be produced by an accredited ecologist? 

 



East Herts Council Response

30 July 2021

Thank you for your request for information, this has now been processed and the information that we hold is enclosed.

  • When is the Local Planning Authority planning to introduce Biodiversity Net Gain as a mandatory requirement for all small development projects in the LPA’s jurisdiction? Please provide a specific date and a short definition of what the LPA classes as a ‘small development project’.

 

East Herts Council already requires the use of a locally approved Biodiversity Metric to ensure the ecological value of all habitats can be quantified and properly reflected in the planning process.

 

Policy NE3 (Species and Habitats) in the East Herts District Plan 2018 states that ‘Development should always seek to enhance biodiversity and to create opportunities for wildlife. Proposals must demonstrate how the development improves the biodiversity value of the site and surrounding environment…’

 

  • If a specific date has not yet been decided, does your Local Planning Authority intend to introduce a requirement for planning applications to include localised Biodiversity Net Gain plans for small development project within the 24 months following the passing of the Environment Bill? (Please define ‘Biodiversity Gain Plan’ as any document that is analogous to the type of document specified in the Environment Bill).

 

Policy NE3 (Species and Habitats) in the East Herts District Plan 2018 already requires a ‘Net Gain’ to biodiversity.

 

  • Is there any material that sets out what criteria a Biodiversity Gain Plan needs to meet in order to be accepted by the authority for a small development project? If such material exists please can it be attached to your response. If such material does not exist, please provide a brief description of what criteria a Biodiversity Gain Plan needs to meet within your LPA. (Again, please define ‘Biodiversity Gain Plan’ as any document that is analogous to the type of document specified in the Environment Bill).

 

Policy NE3 (Species and Habitats) in the East Herts District Plan 2018 states that ‘The biodiversity value of a site pre and post development will be determined by applying a locally approved Biodiversity Metric where appropriate. Submitted information must be consistent with BS 42020 2013. Where insufficient data is provided, permission will be refused.’

 

  • Who is the official at your Local Planning Authority that is tasked with ensuring that Biodiversity Net Gain is implemented for the LPA?

 

Head of Planning: Sara Saunders

 

  • Does the LPA’s approach to Net Gain require all ‘Biodiversity Gain Plans’ to be produced by an accredited ecologist? n

 

Yes – Policy NE3 (Species and Habitats) of the East Herts District Plan requires evidence in the form of an up-to-date ecological survey undertaken by a competent ecologist prior to the submission of an application.

 

If you have any queries or complaint about the processing of your request please do not hesitate to contact me.

For re-use of information and conditions on the use of personal data  please see

https://www.eastherts.gov.uk/about-east-herts-0/information-requests/re-use-council-information

Alternatively for more information on the Freedom of Information Act contact the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioners Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone 0303 123 1113

https://ico.org.uk/

 

It is important that you include the above FOI reference number on all correspondence related to this request.

 

Thank you for your request.