DEV26 - Protecting and enhancing biodiversity and geological conservation

The Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan is now at the public examination stage. Keep up to date with what's happening on our Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan: Examination page.

Development should support the protection, conservation, enhancement and restoration of biodiversity and geodiversity across the Plan Area.  Specific provisions are identified below:

  1. The highest level of protection will be given to European Sites. Development will not be permitted unless it will not adversely affect the integrity of a European site, either alone or in combination with other development.  Proposals having a harmful impact on the integrity of European Sites that cannot be avoided or adequately mitigated will not be permitted other than in exceptional circumstances. These circumstances will only apply where:
      1. There are no suitable alternatives.
      2. There are Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest.
      3. Necessary compensatory provision can be secured to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network of European Sites is protected.
  2. A high level of protection will be given to sites of national significance for nature conservation Development proposed on land within or outside such a site which would be likely to have a harmful impact on the site (either individually or in combination with other developments) will not be permitted unless the benefits of the development, at the site, clearly outweigh both the impacts on the notified special interest features of the site and any broader impacts on the national network of sites of national significance for nature conservation.
  3. Development likely to have a harmful impact on locally designated sites, their features or their function as part of the ecological network, will only be permitted where the need and benefits of the development clearly outweigh the loss and where the coherence of the local ecological network is maintained.
  4. Harmful impacts on European and UK protected species and Biodiversity Action Plan habitats and species must be avoided wherever possible, subject to the legal tests afforded to them where applicable, and unless the need for, or benefits of the development clearly outweigh the loss.
  5. Net gains in biodiversity will be sought from all major development proposals through the promotion, restoration and re-creation of priority habitats, ecological networks and the protection and recovery of legally protected and priority species populations. Delivery of net gains in biodiversity should be designed to support the delivery of the identified biodiversity network that crosses the Plan Area and links the city of Plymouth to the countryside and coast, as well as the network within the city itself. The level of biodiversity net gain required will be proportionate to the type, scale and impact of development. Enhancements for wildlife within the built environment will be sought where appropriate from all scales of development.
  6. Development will provide for the long term management of biodiversity features retained and enhanced within the site or for those features created off site to compensate for development impacts.