Biodiveristy topic paper - East Lindsey November 2016 . 2 BIODIVERSTIY AND GEODIVERSITY TOPIC PAPER

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Text of Biodiveristy topic paper - East Lindsey November 2016 . 2 BIODIVERSTIY AND GEODIVERSITY TOPIC PAPER

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    CORE STRATEGY

    TOPIC PAPER

    Biodiversity and Geodiversity

    November 2016

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    BBIIOODDIIVVEERRSSTTIIYY AANNDD GGEEOODDIIVVEERRSSIITTYY TTOOPPIICC PPAAPPEERR

    CCOONNTTEENNTTSS

    11..00 IINNTTRROODDUUCCTTIIOONN .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 33

    22..00 BBAACCKKGGRROOUUNNDD ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 44

    INTERNATIONAL SITES ................................................................................................................................................... 4

    NATIONAL SITES ............................................................................................................................................................. 4

    LOCAL SITES ................................................................................................................................................................... 4

    33..00 EEAASSTT LLIINNDDSSEEYY LLOOCCAALL PPLLAANN PPOOLLIICCYY FFRRAAMMEEWWOORRKK .......................................................................................... 66

    AAPPPPEENNDDIIXX 11 –– SSIITTEESS OOFF SSPPEECCIIAALL SSCCIIEENNTTIIFFIICC IINNTTEERREESSTT .......................................................................................... 88

    AAPPPPEENNDDIIXX 22 –– LLOOCCAALL WWIILLDDLLIIFFEE SSIITTEESS RREEVVIIEEWW .................................................................................................................. 1100

    AAPPPPEENNDDIIXX 33 -- LLOOCCAALLLLYY DDEESSIIGGNNAATTEEDD SSIITTEESS ............................................................................................................................ 1111

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    1.0 INTRODUCTION

    1.1 Section 40 of the Act the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act requires all public bodies to have regard to biodiversity conservation when carrying out their functions. This is commonly referred to as the ‘biodiversity duty’. This

    includes, though does not exclusively relate to, the carrying out the forward planning and development management processes.

    1.2 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out the background to the approach for plan making and decision making. Its 12 Core Principles includes

    “contributing to conserving and enhancing the natural environment”. Chapter 11 of the NPPF focuses on this in more detail. Paragraph 110 state that “Plans should allocate

    land with the least environmental or amenity value, where consistent with other policies in this Framework.” Paragraph 113 goes on to say “Local planning authorities should set criteria based policies against which proposals for any development on or

    affecting protected wildlife or geodiversity sites or landscape areas will be judged. Distinctions should be made between the hierarchy of international, national and locally

    designated sites, so that protection is commensurate with their status and gives appropriate weight to their importance and the contribution that they make to wider ecological networks.” The NPPF also requires Local Plans to set a strategic approach to

    planning positively for the creation, protection, enhancement and management of networks of biodiversity and green infrastructure; and to maintain the character of the

    undeveloped coast, particularly in areas defined as Heritage Coast, including improving public access to and enjoyment of the coast.”

    1.3 Furthermore, paragraph 117 states that planning policies should : plan for biodiversity at a landscape-scale across local authority boundaries; identify and map

    international, national and locally designated sites of importance for biodiversity, wildlife corridors and stepping stones that connect them; promote the preservation,

    restoration and re-creation of priority habitats, ecological networks, priority species populations, and identify suitable indicators for monitoring biodiversity in the plan; aim to prevent harm to geological conservation interests; and give due consideration to

    Nature Improvement Areas where identified.

    1.4 Paragraph 118 covers development management: “When determining planning applications, local planning authorities should aim to conserve and enhance biodiversity by applying the following principles:

    ●if significant harm resulting from a development cannot be avoided (through locating on an alternative site with less harmful impacts), adequately mitigated, or, as a last

    resort, compensated for, then planning permission should be refused; ●proposed development on land within or outside a Site of Special Scientific Interest likely to have an adverse effect on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (either

    individually or in combination with other developments) should not normally be permitted. Where an adverse effect on the site’s notified special interest features is

    likely, an exception should only be made where the benefits of the development, at this site, clearly outweigh both the impacts that it is likely to have on the features of the site that make it of special scientific interest and any broader impacts on the national

    network of Sites of Special Scientific Interest; ●development proposals where the primary objective is to conserve or enhance

    biodiversity should be permitted; ●opportunities to incorporate biodiversity in and around developments should be encouraged;

    ●planning permission should be refused for development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, including ancient woodland and the loss of aged

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    or veteran trees found outside ancient woodland, unless the need for, and benefits of, the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss; and

    ●the following wildlife sites should be given the same protection as European sites: –potential Special Protection Areas and possible Special Areas of Conservation; –listed or proposed Ramsar sites; and

    –sites identified, or required, as compensatory measures for adverse effects on European sites, potential Special Protection Areas, possible Special Areas of

    Conservation, and listed or proposed Ramsar sites.

    2.0 BACKGROUND

    International Sites

    2.1 Within the boundaries of East Lindsey District Council’s administrative area there are currently nine internationally designated areas; there is some overlap between the sites. Some of these sites extend beyond the District’s boundary and form part of a

    wider designated area. These sites receive the highest level of protection and are enshrined in national legislation.

    Humber Estuary : Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar sites;

    Gibraltar Point : SPA and Ramsar sites; The Wash : SPA and Ramsar sites;

    Saltfleeby – Theddlethorpe Dunes and Gibraltar Point : SAC; and The Wash and North Norfolk Coast SAC.

    National Sites

    2.2 There are currently 46 sites within the district designated at a national level as

    Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). Some these sites are also coincide with the internationally designated sites shown in paragraph 2.1 above. Some have also been

    designated at a local level, some are National Nature Reserves and others Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust Reserves. The list of these sites is shown in appendix 1.

    Local Sites

    2.3 At a local level, there is currently a parallel system in operation. In March 1993,

    the Lincolnshire Trust for Nature Conservation (Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust as it is now known) sent the Council a schedule of sites to be protected as Sites of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI), which was the name given to sites protected at a

    local level across Lincolnshire. The document stated that “The Trust maintains a databank for sites of wildlife and geological interest within the county. Files on more

    than 2000 sites are held which include details of ownership, management and scientific data. This schedule lists those sites for which information is held and which are believed by the Trust to be of more than ordinary importance for conservation. Data for

    other sites is also held, but only those which stand out from the generality of the countryside are included here. Omission does not necessarily imply that a site is of low

    importance” 2.4 Since 1993, the Council has used this schedule as the list of locally designated

    sites, SNCIs. Should the Lincolnshire Trust inform the Council that its records show a site is worthy of more detailed consideration when a planning application is received,

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    this would be looked at. However, the sites in the schedule are the only sites for which the Council has been provided with maps and location details.

    2.5 In 2006, a change was made to the system locally with the introduction of criteria for the designation of Local Wildlife Sites (LWSs) and Local Geological sites

    (LGSs); these have since been updated in 2013. The Lincolnshire Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) at that time included Action Plans and two of the key action