Planning considerations about biodiversity and wildlife

Biodiversity and wildlife

The presence of protected species is a material consideration in the determination of planning, listed building, advertisement consent and Estate Management applications.

This is in accordance with Planning Policy Statement 9 (Biodiversity and Geological Conservation) (PPS9), Natural Environment & Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 (section 40), Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as well as Circular 06/05.

What you need to do

1. Check the biodiversity considerations

It is an offence to damage or destroy European Protected Species (EPS) though some circumstances you can 'derogate' from this protection.

2. Check the biodiversity and wildlife in the area:

* please note this information may be out of date.

3. Complete a biodiversity checklist before you apply 

You should complete a checklist to determine whether there is a likelihood of protected species being present.

If you answer 'yes' to any of the questions on the checklist you should speak to a qualified ecologist to determine whether a survey is required.

Start a biodiversity checklist

4. Complete an ecological study (if required)

  • before submitting a planning application, you should consider if it is likely that an biodiversity offence will occur
  • if it is likely you should carry out a phase 1 ecological study and prepare a report
  • if the ecological study finds protected species are present and that an offence will occur you will need to carry out more studies
  • these studies will need to demonstrate that the three derogation tests can be met

Mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) - New Planning requirements

Planning permissions granted in England (unless otherwise exempt) must now deliver at least 10% biodiversity net gain (BNG).

View the guidance