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Ecological Planning

Planning Assistance for Local Authorities

Our Planning Officers are experienced ecologists with a detailed understanding of local planning regulations

Local Authorities (LAs) have a duty to ensure that biodiversity protection and enhancement are taken into account in local and regional plans and decisions. They also have a statutory responsibility with regard to species protected under wildlife legislation. 

The planning process is a crucial way in which LAs exercise their biodiversity duty. The SWT Planning Officers work closely with LA Planners to ensure that Biodiversity is considered in all planning applications and strategies.

The involvement of Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Ecological Planning Service can give Local Authorities an enhanced ability to ensure that planning applications address their biodiversity duties and do not infringe them. They can help LAs to meet their obligations under NERC to take biodiversity into account in exercising their planning functions, while being responsive to help achieve timeliness targets.

Review planning proposals submitted to us by the LA
Research existing records of protected and rare species and sites designated as important for nature conservation
Review Local Plan or Local Development Framework policies
Respond promptly to the LA with a considered assessment and opinion on the impact of plans on biodiversity
Where feasible, recommend mitigation measures

Surrey Biodiversity Information Centre

SWT’s Planning Officers work closely with the Surrey Biodiversity Information Centre, hosted at the Trust. SBIC is able to provide biological records and maps to inform the comments made by our Planning Officers. These show all the habitats and important wildlife sites across the county, as well as records of species that are endangered or protected under wildlife legislation.

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