Biodiversity Evidence – Better Outcomes from Planning

Aims and Objectives

The “Biodiversity Evidence – Better Outcomes from Planning” project examines how Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) are currently considering biodiversity in their planning process. It will identify best practice approaches for the use of biodiversity data to support planning officers, but it will also identify the challenges they face and the needs that they have in relation to biodiversity matters in planning. Based on the findings, tailored guidance material and training events will be produced, to support LPAs in taking into account biodiversity in the early stages of the planning process and achieve better outcomes for biodiversity.

Background

In 2016, a project by the Mayor of London[1] concluded that about 18% of planning applications in a one year period in London should have been supported by a biodiversity data search, based on a set of criteria used to assess the potential impacts of the proposed developments on biodiversity. However, it was found that only 1% of applications that were validated were accompanied by a GiGL data search during the same period.

Scope

The scope of the project is Greater London and its LPAs. There are 35 LPAs in London; this includes all Boroughs, the City of London and two Mayoral Development Corporations (London Legacy Development Corporation and Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation). This is a one-year project, which started in October 2019, supported by the Mayor of London and hosted by GiGL.

Based upon the Ordnance Survey 1:10 000 map © Crown Copyright and database right 2019. Ordnance Survey 100032216GLA

Methods and deliverables

The first part of the project involves collecting information from London’s LPAs through a questionnaire and direct meetings with planning officers and LPAs’ ecologists. This collected information will inform the guidance materials and the two training events for LPAs’ planners which will be delivered later in 2020.

Regular updates will be posted in this page together with resources produced by this project.

[1] For more information see GiGL's Planning for Nature webpage: www.gigl.org.uk/planning-for-nature/