Biodiversity Conservation Strategy: Biodiversity Action Plans: Green Infrastructure: Sustainable Development: Environmental Assessment: Local Development Frameworks: Planning Appeals and Inquiries: Feasibility Studies
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Important Notice for Existing and Potential Clients:

As from 4th March 2013, Phil Lomax, Director and Principal Consultant of Green Dimensions is moving to take up a position as Principal Ecologist at Thomson Ecology. From this date, existing and potential clients can contact him at:

Phil Lomax, Principal Ecologist,
Thomson Ecology,
Compass House,
Surrey Research Park,
Guildford, GU2 7AG, UK

Tel: 01483 466014
e-mail: Phil.Lomax@thomsonecology.com

Thomson Ecology and its sister company Thomson Habitats is one of the largest ecological consultancies in the UK and is able to offer the full range of ecological services. For further information, please visit: www.thomsonecology.com

Phil looks forward to continue providing existing and potential clients with all the ecological consultancy services required to support their business needs.

 
Badger
Adder
Kingfisher
Bluebells
Roe deer
Well-hedged farmland
Burley Walk in autumn
Steel Rigg
Thorngrafton Common
Lanchester valley

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Answers to Our Quick Quiz Questions!

1) Which species shown on this page, are protected?    

     The simple answer is that they all benefit from some degree of legal protection, but      the level of protection varies considerably, from the full legal protection afforded to      the kingfisher, to the protection against trading for the stag beetle.

    Badger (Meles meles)
     The Protection of Badgers Act, 1992, makes it an offence to kill, injure or take a      badger (Section 1), cruelly treat or dig for badgers (Section 2) or interfere with a      badger sett (Section 3) including damaging, destroying or obstructing a sett or to      have possession of or to trade in badgers (Section 4). Furthermore, the badger is      included in Schedule 6 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, which in addition      to the above, makes it an offence to seek to trap or snare a badger. There are      however exceptions, where with the consent and or a licence from the appropriate      authority, badgers can be killed or moved.

    Palmate Newt (Triturus helveticus)
     Is included in Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, and is protected      therefore by Section 9(5) of that Act which makes it an offence to trade in the      species, or to take or keep the newts for sale. However, other than this, the species      does not benefit from any other protection.

    Adder (Vipera berus)
     The adder is a Schedule 5 species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and      benefits from protection under Sections 9(1) and 9(5) of that act. Section 9(1)      makes it an offence to “intentionally kill, injure or take” an adder .Furthermore, under      Section 9(5) it is an offence to sell or take or possess for sale an adder.

    Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus)
     As with the palmate newt, the stag beetle benefits only from protection against trade      in the species under Section 9(5) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.It is      therefore an offence to sell, or take or possess for sale.

    Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
     The kingfisher has full protection under the law. As a Schedule 1 species under the      Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, it is protected by virtue of Section 1 of the Wildlife      and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it an offence to kill, injure or take any wild      bird, take, damage or destroy the nest (whilst it is in use),take or destroy the eggs,      to be in possession of the bird or its eggs, dead or alive, or disturb birds whilst      building a nest or  in on or near the nest, or to disturb the young.

    Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus)
     The roe deer does not benefit from any specific legal protection, but like all wild      mammals, is given some protection under the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act,      1996.This act makes it an offence to cruelly treat or inflict unnecessary suffering on      a wild mammal, including mutilating, beating, impaling, stabbing, burning, stoning,      crushing, dragging or asphyxiating the mammal.    

    Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)
     The bluebell is a Schedule 8 species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981      and is given some protection under Section 13(2) of that act in that it is an offence to      sell or offer for sale any wild bluebell plants or bulbs. Furthermore, the bluebell      benefits from the general protection afforded all wild plants under Section 13 (1) b      of the act in that it is an offence for an unauthorised person to intentionally uproot      any wild plant.

    Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)
     Despite its exotic appearance and relative scarcity, the bee orchid does not in fact      have the benefit of any specific legal protection. It does however benefit from the      general protection against uprooting afforded all wild plants under Section 13(1) b      of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

 

If you would like to check which species of plants and animals in the UK are protected or endangered, the Joint Nature Conservancy Council has collated a comprehensive list.


2) What is an Appropriate Assessment?

    An Appropriate Assessment is required for any plans or projects that could potentially adversely affect the integrity of any European sites. European sites defined in Regulation 8 of The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 and are those notified as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) or candidates (cSAC) under the terms of the EC Habitats Directive and Special Protection Areas (SPA) and potential areas (pSPA) under the terms of the EC Birds Directive, as well as Ramsar sites designated under the Ramsar Convention.

Part 6 of the Regulations is specifically concerned with the conservation of European sites and species from the effects of plans and projects. This requires the local planning authority (as competent authority for the purposes of determining planning applications – see Regulation 68 for clarification) to ensure that they agree to the plan or project only after having ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of the European site or the European offshore marine site (as the case may be).The full regulation is cited below:

Assessment of implications for European site
    61.—(1)  A competent authority, before deciding to undertake, or give any consent, permission or other authorisation for, a plan or project which -

 (a) is likely to have a significant effect on a European site in Great Britain (either alone or in combination with other plans or projects), and
 (b) is not directly connected with or necessary to the management of the site, shall make an appropriate assessment of the implications for the site in view of that site's conservation objectives.

    (2)  A person applying for any such consent, permission or other authorisation shall provide such information as the competent authority may reasonably require for the purposes of the assessment.

    (3)  The competent authority shall for the purposes of the assessment consult the appropriate nature conservation body and have regard to any representations made by that body within such reasonable time as the authority may specify.

    (4)  They shall also, if they consider it appropriate, take the opinion of the general public; and if they do so, they shall take such steps for that purpose as they consider appropriate.

    (5)  In the light of the conclusions of the assessment, and subject to regulation 49, the authority shall agree to the plan or project only after having ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of the European site.

    (6)  In considering whether a plan or project will adversely affect the integrity of the site, the authority shall have regard to the manner in which it is proposed to be carried out or to any conditions or restrictions subject to which they propose that the consent, permission or other authorisation should be given.

    (7)  This regulation does not apply in relation to a site which is a European site by reason only of regulation 10(1)(c) (site protected in accordance with Article 5(4)).

Similar requirements relate to ‘permitted development’ under the General Development Order. Development which would otherwise be permitted development under the order is by virtue of Regulation 75, subject to approval by the local planning authority where it is likely to have a significant effect on a European site. This applies to all permitted development after 1st April 2010 and to all permitted developments prior to 1st April 2010 where development had not commenced by 1st April. Similarly, planning permission cannot be granted or assumed under Special Development Orders, Local Development Orders, Simplified Planning Zones or Enterprise Zones, if such development is likely to have a significant effect on a European site.

Regulation 102 requires that a plan making authority can only give effect to a land use plan having ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of any European site:

102.—(1) Where a land use plan—
(a) is likely to have a significant effect on a European site in Great Britain or a European offshore marine site (either alone or in combination with other plans or projects), and
(b) is not directly connected with or necessary to the management of the site, the plan-making authority for that plan shall, before the plan is given effect, make an appropriate assessment of the implications for the site in view of that site’s conservation objectives.
(2) The plan-making authority shall for the purposes of the assessment consult the appropriate nature conservation body and have regard to any representations made by that body within such reasonable time as the authority specifies.
(3) They shall also, if they consider it appropriate, take the opinion of the general public, and if they do so, they shall take such steps for that purpose as they consider appropriate.
(4) In the light of the conclusions of the assessment, and subject to regulation 85C (considerations of overriding public interest), the plan-making authority or, in the case of a regional spatial strategy, the Secretary of State shall give effect to the land use plan only after having ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of the European site or the European offshore marine site (as the case may be).
(5) A plan-making authority shall provide such information as the Secretary of State or the Welsh Ministers may reasonably require for the purposes of the discharge of the obligations of the Secretary of State or the Welsh Ministers under this Part.
(6) This regulation does not apply in relation to a site which is—
(a) a European site by reason of regulation 10(1)(c); or
(b) a European offshore marine site by reason of regulation 15(c) of the 2007 Regulations.

In other words, before a competent authority can undertake a plan or project, or, give consent for a plan or project, they must first undertake an Appropriate Assessment of the implications of that plan or project, either alone or in combination with other plans or projects for the European site, and can only undertake or authorise that plan or project   after having ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of the European site or the European offshore marine site.

 In strict legal terms, an Appropriate Assessment is only required if the competent authority has first determined that the plan or project is “likely to have a significant effect” on a European site (see ODPM Circular 06/2005,’Biodiversity and Geological Conservation – Statutory Obligations And Their Impact Within The Planning System’, paragraph13). This assessment must be taken on a precautionary basis and based on the probability or risk of a significant effect. In practice however, the “assessment of likely significant effect” is seen as the first step in a three step process of Appropriate Assessment, as set out in ‘Planning for the Protection of European Sites: Appropriate Assessment,’ DCLG, August 2006.

 

Folded Corner:  ......we have the answers to your questions. Please don’t be afraid to ask. Contact us now!

 

Palmate newt
Stag beetle
Roe doe
Bee orchid
Teal
New Forest heathland
River Test, Longstock
Walltown
Waskersley Way
Lanchester valley

Roundall

Hurst Castle and the salt marsh
Web Site Development and Wildlife Photography by Andrew Walmsley
Copyright © 2008 Phil Lomax and Andrew Walmsley  All rights reserved
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