Planning applications must be made to the ‘Local Planning Authority’ (LPA), for any development that involves the change of use to a piece of land.
Development can cause serious harm to wildlife but it does not have to. Indeed, with careful thought new development can deliver valuable biodiversity enhancement, so our planning role is as much about promoting positive outcomes as it is about fighting harmful proposals. We are committed to working in partnership with planners, developers, communities and other environmental bodies across Yorkshire to ensure that the development decisions made are as environmentally sustainable as possible.
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Planning Consultations
Yorkshire is a growing region and has around 30,000 planning applications a year. As a result, the Trust is unable to be involved with every case. This is why we try to focus on those cases where we feel we can make a real and positive difference for Yorkshire’s special habitats and species. We also seek to maximise our efficiency by working in partnership with organisations such as Natural England so that we do not duplicate effort.
We are formally consulted on hundreds of applications a year even though we are not a statutory consultee. The fact that we are consulted is down to our growing member support and the value local authorities put on our local expertise.
How we prioritise responses
Due to limited resources we must prioritise our responses. We put a great deal of effort into strategic planning such as Local Development Plans to try to reduce the frequency of conflict between development and wildlife protection at an early stage.
We then prioritise responses to those areas where we have most local knowledge – close to our nature reserves and Living Landscape Projects. Applications/plans which would significantly impact sites which are designated for their wildlife value such as Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) will also be given a high priority. Occasionally we will get involved with applications outside of these areas if it may be possible to secure a large environmental gain.
What you can do
- Find out when your local authority is consulting on its Local Plan. Check their website.
Respond to consultations - insist on strong policies to protect wildlife, and ask for new wildlife habitat to be created as part of major developments.
- Find out if your parish or town is putting together a Neighbourhood Plan. You can seek the creation of new wildlife-rich green space as part of the plan.
Respond to planning applications you think could damage wildlife, or have the potential to create more areas for wildlife, especially if they go against policies in your local plan.
Let your local councillors, and those on the planning committee know why you are objecting.
You can download our Planning Leaflets below for more information and advice on the planning system and how to use it to defend your local wildlife.
If you are a developer
Check what species may be on your site using Natural England’s Standing Advice for Protected Species.
Contact the local Ecological Record Centre for existing data (there is a fee for any commercial work), also check online for previous applications in the area which may have conducted surveys.
Talk to local residents where possible to get an idea of any issues such as flooding or wildlife sightings that may be relevant in future.
Plan surveys in advance – most are limited to a certain season and timescale, and consultants get very busy!
For up to date information on our planning responses and successes please see our Latest News section.
|Planning for a healthy environment: good practice for green infrastructure and biodiversity||7.02 MB|
|Fit to Frack - summary report||1.26 MB|
|Secret Spaces: Status of Local Wildlife Sites 2014||741.1 KB|
|Status of Local Wildlife Sites Report||4.21 MB|
|Statutory designations||118.51 KB|
|Barn Owls||241.22 KB|
|Bats and Habitats||205.06 KB|
|Bats and Turbines||191.71 KB|
|Birds and Law||156.68 KB|
|Non Statutory Designations||156.44 KB|
|Otters and Water Voles||206.5 KB|
|Planning Guidance||160.9 KB|
|Protected Species||217.16 KB|
|Neighbourhood Plans||231.72 KB|