Biodiversity & Planning in Wales – 11th October 2023 Update

Welsh Government have updated the national planning policy for biodiversity, (referred to as Chapter 6), which takes force with immediate effect (as of 11th October 2023).

Overall, this is a welcome pro-active approach to planning here in Wales, and with it, hopefully real results for the planning sector, and biodiversity outcomes across new development.

Here is a brief summary of the main elements:

  • Net Benefit for Biodiversity (NBB): further clarity is provides on securing net benefit for biodiversity through a step-wise approach, the importance of assessing ecosystem resilience in development and strengthening use of the DECCA framework;
  • Increased Protection: strengthened approach to the protection of SSSIs, , with a higher bar of protection to ensure where there are adverse impacts on the features for which a site has been designated, this should be refused;
  • Trees and Woodlands: closer alignment with the stepwise approach, along with promoting new planting as part of development based on securing the right tree in the right place’ and further regard to local authority tree strategies; and
  • Green Infrastructure: stronger emphasis on taking a proactive approach to green infrastructure, identifying key outputs of green infrastructure assessments with planning applications.
  • Further information can be found here.

For assistance on how this could affect you and any development proposals contact us on 02920 650 331.