Aylesbury Vale Area

FMM096

Showing comments and forms 1 to 3 of 3

Object

VALP Further Main Modifications

Representation ID: 3704

Received: 03/01/2021

Respondent: Mr Jeremy Bloss

Legally compliant? No

Sound? No

Representation Summary:

FMM096 should be clearly stating that a net gain in biodiversity is a requirement of NPPF. The modification to point e has been watered down and should still specify "species" as well as habitats of importance., again a legal requirement and "priority species" should be defined. Point c should reference baselining the current biodiversity of a site otherwise how can one assess an application objectively and its impact? The methodology of measuring and demonstrating impacts on biodiversity should be defined with minimums of report types specified - at present it is way too vague and will result in inconsistent data

Change suggested by respondent:

The terms of reference need to be specified. The Council should be more ambitious in defining what types of reports are required (at least for all green field applications). It should be specifying that at a minimum a Phase 1 Habitat Survey, Biodiversity net gain, protected species surveys are needed. I do not understand why these are not minimum requirements. The reports should also be transparent and demonstrably clear in their methodology and use of data.

Full text:

FMM096 should be clearly stating that a net gain in biodiversity is a requirement of NPPF. The modification to point e has been watered down and should still specify "species" as well as habitats of importance., again a legal requirement and "priority species" should be defined. Point c should reference baselining the current biodiversity of a site otherwise how can one assess an application objectively and its impact? The methodology of measuring and demonstrating impacts on biodiversity should be defined with minimums of report types specified - at present it is way too vague and will result in inconsistent data

Object

VALP Further Main Modifications

Representation ID: 3733

Received: 05/02/2021

Respondent: Natural England

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? Not specified

Representation Summary:

Several of our points can be applied across all of the site allocation policies;
• We recommend removal of all mentions of ‘where practicable’ in reference to the retention of existing habitats, woodland and hedgerows, and creation of linkages of surrounding wildlife assets. In order to comply with the NPPF, para. 175, ‘if significant harm to biodiversity resulting from a development cannot be avoided, adequately mitigated, or, as a last resort, compensated for, then planning permission should be refused’. The NPPF also stresses the importance (para 171) of taking a ‘strategic approach to maintaining and enhancing networks of habitats and green infrastructure’. By including the words ‘where practicable’ you allow for the possibly of destruction of priority habitats and the loss of biodiversity.
• It is Natural England’s opinion that the vast majority of the site allocations should require an ecological management plan and subsequent ecological mitigation to be provided. Unless you know there is mitigation required, then remove the ‘as required’. The discrepancy on how biodiversity is considered between site allocations is currently inconsistent with NPPF para. 170 and Policy NE1.
• All site allocations should require the provision of a measurable net gain in biodiversity, to remain consistent with para. 170 (d) of the NPPF.

Change suggested by respondent:

Removal of all mentions of ‘where practicable’ in reference to the retention of existing habitats, woodland and hedgerows, and creation of linkages of surrounding wildlife assets. Unless you know there is ecological mitigation required, then remove the ‘as required’. All site allocations should require the provision of a measurable net gain in biodiversity.

Full text:

Dear Sir or Madam,
Planning Consultation: Aylesbury Vale Local Plan – Further Main Modifications
Thank you for your consultation on the above dated 15 December 2020 which was received by Natural England on the same day.
Natural England is a non-departmental public body. Our statutory purpose is to ensure that the natural environment is conserved, enhanced, and managed for the benefit of present and future generations, thereby contributing to sustainable development.
We would like to thank you for taking our comments from the previous consultation on board. We have reviewed the modifications and in particular Policies NE1-9 and I1, and have no further comments to make.
We have included some advisory comments, which should constitute best practice. Most are minor changes concerned with wording of certain policies.
ADVISORY
Policy D1 - Delivering Aylesbury Garden Town
As the main Policy for the Garden Town, we recommend addition to D1 to require all associated development to conserve the biodiversity on site and provide a biodiversity net gain through multifunctional green infrastructure. this is supported within the NPPF (paras. 170, 175 (d). and will bring the Policy in line with Policies NE1-9 and I1.
D-WHA001 Shenley Park
Due to the areas of ancient woodland (irreplaceable habitat), deciduous woodland (priority habitat) and ‘no main habitat but additional habitats present’ (priority habitat) on the site, we advise wording is put in to ensure habitats are not damaged or destroyed. In addition, we advise removal of ‘where practicable’ in regards to retention of habitats.
D-HAL003 RAF Halton
Wording should be added to the site specific description to highlight the neighbouring sites of ecological value, and to ensure they are not encroached onto.
The 50% green infrastructure on site should focus on providing a similar experience to the adjacent Ancient Woodland to keep people on-site. Mitigation options for recreational disturbance can include
offsite works such as signage, fencing and footpath creation within the protected sites to minimise recreational disturbance such as trampling of vegetation, dog fouling, and disturbance of wildlife.
Site Allocations
Several of our points can be applied across all of the site allocation policies;
• We recommend removal of all mentions of ‘where practicable’ in reference to the retention of existing habitats, woodland and hedgerows, and creation of linkages of surrounding wildlife assets. In order to comply with the NPPF, para. 175, ‘if significant harm to biodiversity resulting from a development cannot be avoided, adequately mitigated, or, as a last resort, compensated for, then planning permission should be refused’. The NPPF also stresses the importance (para 171) of taking a ‘strategic approach to maintaining and enhancing networks of habitats and green infrastructure’. By including the words ‘where practicable’ you allow for the possibly of destruction of priority habitats and the loss of biodiversity.
• It is Natural England’s opinion that the vast majority of the site allocations should require an ecological management plan and subsequent ecological mitigation to be provided. Unless you know there is mitigation required, then remove the ‘as required’. The discrepancy on how biodiversity is considered between site allocations is currently inconsistent with NPPF para. 170 and Policy NE1.
• All site allocations should require the provision of a measurable net gain in biodiversity, to remain consistent with para. 170 (d) of the NPPF.
Habitats Regulations Assessment
Natural England provided a response on the 18th November 2020 agreeing with the conclusions reached in the Addendum Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) and Appropriate Assessment.
We would be happy to comment further should the need arise but if in the meantime you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.
For any queries relating to the specific advice in this letter only please contact me.
Yours sincerely,
Ellen Satchwell
Sustainable Development Lead Adviser
Thames Solent Team

Attachments:

Object

VALP Further Main Modifications

Representation ID: 3865

Received: 09/02/2021

Respondent: Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Natural Environment Partnership

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Representation Summary:

The NEP supports most of the proposed further main modifications to the text at Policy NE1 (FMM096, MM228, Page 266, Policy NE1, Biodiversity and Geodiversity) – except for:

a. The proposed insertion at NE1 (c)
The SPD should be focused on Biodiversity Net Gains – and not on “biodiversity and geodiversity” for the purpose of clarity, and in line with practice. (This has also been picked up by Aecom in the Sustainability Appraisal Addendum);

and

b. The following requested wording amendments, for the purposes of clarity, to the text at NE1 (i): to ensure that it’s the NEP’s Biodiversity Action Plan that is being referred to; and to ensure that it’s not just BOAs, but the “other areas of local biodiversity priority” also being referred to throughout this section; and to make it clear that net gains cannot just be achieved through a focus on biodiversity opportunity areas and other areas of biodiversity priority, but the objectives of the BAP could be achieved elsewhere, outside those areas, too.
c. The NEP also suggests reference to supporting the objectives of the forthcoming Local Nature Recovery Strategy for Buckinghamshire is a considered within the text.

Change suggested by respondent:

Suggested additions in yellow; suggested deletions in red (Officer note: Please see attached representation form for formatting to changed text)

NE1 (c )
“These gains must be measurable using best practice in biodiversity and green infrastructure accounting…to be set out in a future Supplementary Planning Document the Biodiversity and Geodiversity SPD Accounting SPD.
NE1 (i)
“Planning conditions/obligations will be used to ensure net gains in biodiversity by helping to deliver the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Natural Environment Partnership’s Biodiversity Action Plan targets in the biodiversity opportunity areas and other areas where biodiversity priorities can be delivered, including in areas of local biodiversity priority. Where development is proposed within, or adjacent to, a biodiversity opportunity such an area, biodiversity surveys and a report will be required to identify constraints and opportunities for biodiversity enhancement. Development which would prevent the aims of a Biodiversity Opportunity Area, and other areas that can deliver local biodiversity priorities, from being achieved will not be permitted. Where there is potential for development, the design and layout of the development should secure biodiversity enhancement and the Council will use planning conditions and obligations as needed to help achieve the aims of the biodiversity opportunity area. A monitoring and management plan will be required for biodiversity features on site to ensure their long-term suitable management (secured through planning condition or Section 106 agreement)”

Full text:

Dear VALP Further Main Modifications Consultation Team,

I’ve attached for your attention the response from the Bucks & MK NEP to the Further Main Modifications consultation in respect of the VALP.

I’d be grateful if you could please acknowledge receipt.

The NEP supports most of the proposed further main modifications to the text at Policy NE1 (FMM096, MM228, Page 266, Policy NE1, Biodiversity and Geodiversity) – except for:
a. The proposed insertion at NE1 (c)
The SPD should be focused on Biodiversity Net Gains – and not on “biodiversity and geodiversity” for the purpose of clarity, and in line with practice. (This has also been picked up by Aecom in the Sustainability Appraisal Addendum);

and

b. The following requested wording amendments, for the purposes of clarity, to the text at NE1 (i): to ensure that it’s the NEP’s Biodiversity Action Plan that is being referred to; and to ensure that it’s not just BOAs, but the “other areas of local biodiversity priority” also being referred to throughout this section; and to make it clear that net gains cannot just be achieved through a focus on biodiversity opportunity areas and other areas of biodiversity priority, but the objectives of the BAP could be achieved elsewhere, outside those areas, too.
c. The NEP also suggests reference to supporting the objectives of the forthcoming Local Nature Recovery Strategy for Buckinghamshire is a considered within the text.

The NEP formally supports the following insertion, and Aecom’s comments in relation to it, in their Sustainability Appraisal Addendum (at 9.2.4), to clarify that hard-surfaced areas do not comprise green infrastructure and will not be counted as contributing to GI targets.

FMM 098, MM reference MM 246, Page 299, Section 11.1:

“Open space includes green infrastructure and also civic space including market squares and other hard surfaced community areas used for community activities. However, hard surfaced or civic spaces do not count as providing green infrastructure to meet Policy I1.”


Suggested additions in yellow; suggested deletions in red (Officer note: see attached representation form for formatting)

NE1 (c )
“These gains must be measurable using best practice in biodiversity and green infrastructure accounting…to be set out in a future Supplementary Planning Document the Biodiversity and Geodiversity SPD Accounting SPD.
NE1 (i)
“Planning conditions/obligations will be used to ensure net gains in biodiversity by helping to deliver the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Natural Environment Partnership’s Biodiversity Action Plan targets in the biodiversity opportunity areas and other areas where biodiversity priorities can be delivered, including in areas of local biodiversity priority. Where development is proposed within, or adjacent to, a biodiversity opportunity such an area, biodiversity surveys and a report will be required to identify constraints and opportunities for biodiversity enhancement. Development which would prevent the aims of a Biodiversity Opportunity Area, and other areas that can deliver local biodiversity priorities, from being achieved will not be permitted. Where there is potential for development, the design and layout of the development should secure biodiversity enhancement and the Council will use planning conditions and obligations as needed to help achieve the aims of the biodiversity opportunity area. A monitoring and management plan will be required for biodiversity features on site to ensure their long-term suitable management (secured through planning condition or Section 106 agreement)”