IMPORTANT: For the attention of Planning Agents. A letter by the Welsh Government (see link below):
COP15, biodiversity deep dive, section 6 duty and the planning system
Any development within Snowdonia National Park should negate its effect on local biodiversity and take active steps to enhance it.
The National Park Authority will inform you of any biodiversity enhancement steps you should take as part of their Pre-application Advice Service.
In some cases, you will need to include a survey or report when formally submitting your application. A local ecological surveyor should carry out these surveys or reports.
Any biodiversity enhancement steps you take should be marked on your plans and drawings.
Examples of biodiversity enhancement
Examples of biodiversity enhancement can include:
- Installing a bird box specific to the species on the development site, e.g. swallows, swifts, starlings
- Planting a native tree such as Rowan that would yield berries for birds in the area
- More significant developments could look at restoring wildflower meadows on the site
The steps you take to enhance biodiversity within your development should reflect the scale of the development itself. For example, building a house within the National Park will have a more significant effect on biodiversity than building a porch on an existing home. The enhancement should attempt to negate the development’s impact on a site’s biodiversity.
Additionally, the steps you should take to enhance biodiversity within your development often depend on several factors such as the location, type of building and scale. There is rarely a one-size-fits-all approach to biodiversity enhancement. The actions you should take are often unique to your development.
Assessing biodiversity enhancement
Snowdonia National Park Authority will inform you of any actions you should take regarding biodiversity as part of their Pre-application Advice Service. For example, the service can recommend particular biodiversity enhancements and whether or not you need to carry out an ecological survey or report.
Planning officers and ecologists in the National Park Authority use various tools to determine a development’s potential effect on local biodiversity.
One of these tools is ‘Cofnod’, an interactive map that shows species specific to an area within the National Park.