North Norfolk EN 9 biodiversity policy

North Norfolk District Council have a single policy EN9, dealing with biodiversity in their core strategy. We have extracted it here for ease of reference.

The following text is taken from the adopted core strategy Section 3.3. for North Norfolk District Council  The footnotes are included below ( based on correct cross referencing):

Policy EN 9 : Biodiversity & Geology

All development proposals should:

  • protect the biodiversity value of land and buildings and minimise fragmentation of habitats;
  • maximise opportunities for restoration, enhancement and connection of natural habitats; and
  • incorporate beneficial biodiversity conservation features where appropriate.

Development proposals that would cause a direct or indirect adverse effect to nationally designated sites (xxxvi) or other designated areas (xxxvii) or protected species (xxxviii) will not be permitted unless;

  • they cannot be located on alternative sites that would cause less or no harm;
  • the benefits of the development clearly outweigh the impacts on the features of the site and the wider network of natural habitats; and
  • prevention, mitigation and compensation measures are provided.

Development proposals that would be significantly detrimental to the nature conservation interests of nationally designated sites will not be permitted.

Development proposals where the principal objective is to conserve or enhance biodiversity or geodiversity interests will be supported in principle.

Where there is reason to suspect the presence of protected species applications should be accompanied by a survey assessing their presence and, if present, the proposal must be sensitive to, and make provision for, their needs.

Footnotes

xxxvi. SSSIs, The Broads, the Norfolk Coast AONB and National Nature Reserves.
xxxvii. Regionally Important Geological Sites, Local Nature Reserves, County Wildlife Sites, Ancient Woodland and Roadside Nature Reserves.
xxxviii. Those identified in the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 Section 40 and in the UK and Norfolk Biodiversity Action Plans.

Accompanying text

3.3.43 North Norfolk contains a wealth of biodiversity and natural environmental assets and the protection and enhancement of designated areas such as SSSIs and Ramsar Sites is paramount. Such sites are identified on the Proposals Map. Sites identified through international conventions and European directives are shown, however since these sites have statutory protection they do not require LDF policy protection.

3.3.44 The Core Strategy was subject to an Appropriate Assessment to assess the potential effects on European Sites (xxxiii) both within and adjacent to North Norfolk which found that the policies would have no adverse affect (xxxiv).

3.3.45 The Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 imposed a legal duty on local authorities to protect and enhance biodiversity. The policy seeks to assist this obligation, and the Council will also undertake additional initiatives such as appropriate management of designated areas.

3.3.46 All proposals should consider protection and enhancement of biodiversity from the outset and seek to protect features such as trees, hedgerows, ponds, and woodland, design buildings to include roosting or nesting spots and include landscaping within sites and along boundaries which can provide feeding and nesting opportunities as well as acting as habitat corridors aiding the passage of wildlife between sites.

3.3.47 Proposals should particularly seek to contribute towards the objectives for priority habitats and species identified in the Norfolk Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) and to the protection, enhancement and linking of core areas identified in the Ecological Network maps (xxxv). Many habitats in North Norfolk, such as heathland, which used to be widespread are now fragmented and isolated. This has significant consequences for the long term protection and adaptability of biodiversity and the ability of wildlife and habitats to respond to climate change. There is a need to expand and re-connect the existing areas and restore habitats where they have been destroyed. The North Norfolk Ecological Network map identifies core areas for biodiversity where protection, enhancement and expansion of the existing resource will be a priority. In North Norfolk these include increasing woodland, heathland and wood pasture in the Cromer ridge and management of the Broads margins to develop semi-natural habitats including heathland. Appendix B: ‘North Norfolk Ecological Network’ contains further information on these priorities. The Integrated Landscape Character Assessment also provides guidance on appropriate landscape and habitat creation.

3.3.48 Development proposals should be accompanied by sufficient information to assess the effects of development on protected sites, species, biodiversity or geology, together with any proposed prevention, mitigation or compensation measures. The Norfolk Biological Records Centre can provide general species distribution data for development sites and further information is also available from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership.

3.3.49 The Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) identifies areas that could become permanently flooded under different options for long-term coastal realignment. If this occurs then opportunities for creating new habitats in these areas will be taken where possible and replacement habitats may need to be provided to ensure no net loss of important habitats. This is especially important for The Broads which contains habitats of international significance.

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