Integrating Biodiversity into Development

Biodiversity Guidance for Planners and Developers in

Essex, Southend and Thurrock

Integrating Biodiversity into development
...realising the benefits

a guide for planners, developers and those considering building works

Click on the Butterfly Logo to launch the main index page, and follow the page links from there.

Please note that this document originally dates from 2003 but has been revised and partly updated in July 2014 to reflect more recent legislative changes.  There are many hyperlinks in the document, and we apologise for the fact that many of those will no longer work as other websites change their addresses. You may need to make a further search of any website that you are referred to from our Guide.   For the relevant text extracts from the National Planning Policy Framework please see our separate page.

[Tip; This guide is composed of a number of linked PDF files. The documents will open in your browser and they have internal links in green which will take you to linked pages in the guide. Links to external websites are in blue]

Integrating Biodiversity into Development - a Guide for Planners and Developers in Essex, Southend and Thurrock has been compiled by the Essex Biodiversity Project and includes input from developers, planners, ecologists, councillors, statutory conservation agencies, businesses and local wildlife groups as a result of two consultations.

This guidance is intended to help protect and enhance biodiversity in development schemes by:

  •     Helping set biodiversity and development in context
  •     Setting out key issues and principles
  •     Exploring ten Case Studies
  •     Signposting users to further information
  •     Providing a checklist to ensure the maximum potential is realised

We believe that our Guidance is robust and can be used with confidence.

Since the production of the guide in 2003 and its subsequent 2007 update, the Essex Biodiversity Project is now placing a new emphasis upon provision for biodiversity at a landscape scale, in recognition of the fact that species cannot survive on small isolated nature reserves, and we need to make the whole landscape more suitable for wildlife and biodiversity. The Living Landscapes initiative of the Wildlife Trusts addresses this issue, and planners are recommended to look at the Living Landscapes section of this guide and associated material on the ANGSt (Accessible Natural Greenspace Standard, and on Green Infrastructure. This 2010 edition includes updates brought about by legislative and procedural changes to that point, with some subsequent changes to reflect continuing changes in legislation. Every effort is made to keep apace, but we cannot guarantee the advice is always current, or that links to external websites are current. 

What has biodiversity got to do with development?

Biodiversity is valuable. House prices are higher in areas with access to biodiverse green spaces. The richness of environment makes people feel good and stimulates good health - they are less likely to fall ill and quicker to recover. Looking after important green spaces within or close to our towns and connecting these with attractive green corridors generates civic pride in the population - and investment tends to follow.

Massive development is proposed in Essex over the next 20 years, and this is an opportunity to ensure that good quality green space, which is valuable for people and for biodiversity, is integral to any regeneration plans.

Developers need to work well with Planners to integrate biodiversity into their development proposals.

This Guide is designed to be used. It cuts through the complexities of biodiversity legislation and protected species to give quick access to detailed information for developers, planners and all those working for a better quality of life in Essex.

John Hall

Director of Essex Wildlife Trust