Barnsley Biodiversity Trust responded to the consultation on Barnsley council’s draft Local Plan in January 2015.
We were pleased that following ecological assessments for the proposed development sites, the Local Plan now includes some mitigation measures for the proposed sites.
We recommended that the approach proposed in the Local Plan is rigorously applied to both planning policy and planning decisions, namely: will the proposals: enhance and protect designated sites? enhance and protect the biodiversity of the Borough? contribute to greater connectivity in the biodiversity network? support existing green infrastructure and ecosystem service, and provide opportunities to enhance or create new features?
Whilst recognising the imperatives of providing for new employment and growth in the economy and for meeting future housing needs, we want the council to take a careful and considered approach using the best evidence to any reduction in green belt provision and to the designation of development sites.
We also urged the council to insist that developers aim higher than simply striving for no net biodiversity loss: mitigation (avoidance, reduction and repair) and compensatory measures should aim to enhance biodiversity and produce biodiversity gains.
The full response is attached: BBT Comments on Biodiversity section of BMBC Local Plan