Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority Pembrokeshire County Council

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Local Development Plan 2 Pembrokeshire County Council Local Development Plan 1


How biodiversity can be protected and enhanced in the development process



Consultation: September 2020

Adoption: Approval Date


Consultation: Approval Date Adoption: Approval Date


AbbreviatlOns: sn seterercinvenserddennstnerdetteenm teelt sussei tenesuddsasseus A 3 Introduction Purpose of the: document sereniteit aten EnC OE ETE deler NEAS 4 Statusofths Document sense eat apes nnee eene ende eend 5 Aims of the document siisii iestr s T a nE sa R NEEE PaE E NEES EREIN EISE lide 5 Biodiversity and Nature Conservation nanne oneneenenvenvenenveneenenveneeneevenvenenvenveneenenven 6 Why is Biodiversity important and why we need to consider it? eee 6 Biodiversity un Pemnbrokeshit®. ans saertn vern ennerninn caatacenvgvsansceecyseseaseasedscesevenves EE NNE 7 Pembrokeshire’s biodiversity resources nennen nenveneenenveneevenvenveneevenvenvenenne 7 Pembrokeshire Nature Partnership nennen vooren vennenneeneeneenvenvenvennvenvenseenvenvenvenvensennvenee 7 Pembrokeshire Nature Recovery Action Plan.. aed Legislation: and Poley cess His testers ralh tees beenen rdleete isis i 9 Key Principles cassis csssssesssseaciissvessvsgaatacesvacdes vsti asses seasesvesnsstonsozgossabseciecadeesena setsvnesoa ESEESE EASA 9 International, European and UK legislation nn enoneneenenvenvenenveneenenvenvenvenenne 9 National planning policy and guidance ennen sen venvenvensenneenvenvenvenreenvenvenvenneenveneen 12 Local Development Plán PONCy:, a areansnerenernrrenearedantnneredintentens eE ETE R E 13 Table 1: Proteción of Sitesisccsccsissscesseacetsswscsasescanssdassevasesssitssecnacdetstiesacsucetusesoeusutsunachaceenseies 14 Table 2; Protection of Habitats cninn ann n a E RA sees 15 Table 3. Protection of Species siiin nee i a a ia aeaiee 16 Protecting and Enhancing Biodiversity in the Development Process enen ennen eneen 17

Building Biodiversity into development annen ennenvenvenseeneenvenvenvenreenseneensenneenveneen 17 Figure 1. Good Practice: Process i i:.cscesccassssssevedsodvecgavessestesescestasesensdbotecsistsctetessiasessanarestsres 19 Protected Species: ‚a sa savssesuasve2 conssicacesesces: hensen teases fund eteina sets ri IE ee ETSA KEES 20 European Protected peCles ceiecssses ses desdsncshcih sinteae cue S E S AE EE 20 Protected: Sites: renrsntann ease nanneitiererdtneenern hensen kennende dieen TONE SSA AKTES 20 Pre-application GiSCUSSIONS s..icccssssssseceeveccesconesaaecaccaescsossvsavesaccaccecsnesnesscesstsneeteseacaccstcanseteenade 21

Consider ecology early on to ensure it does not result in avoidable delays 21

Information and Surveys: icc.csscs:cctesssti2ee cesetitesce cesdevdeteascseusassdasnstaleceessantacon ER s 22 Design Stages: crensian ier E EEEa AA Ea E REEE EE RONTSA OEE E KTE EE i 23


Compensate sarien E EE EREE E E E E ETEA i E EE 24 Enhancer cases cesta sides sonst es EE ndr E EERE E E E TE ERE 24 IMAM BE AA E EEE E E E A EE E andeng 25

Planning Application Stage nonsense rsensenddeseansveraiknsnnddendenerneesdehentinendenesend denn 25

Application Determination Stage sesiis iio as 25 Planning Conditions iaee a E a T RE A AE ESR 25 Planning ‘Ob Satins renate abscess csstsceoasacsassetes atsvevevasessenovasasewsssougstustagaoattevessecaesseaseaes 26

Post application stage licencing ..........ceeceeceeeseeseeseeeceeseesecseeseeeeceaeeaesaeseeesecaesseceeeeaeeaeeaeeaees 27 European Protected Species Licencing nennen enveneenenvenenvenvenenvenvenennenvenvenenne 27 UK Protected Species xs... cai veges biases oxen antennen enden en Heerlen raed misc ln 27

Further Guidance for Enhancing Biodiversity in the Development Process cece 28

SUDS: asses feta state E veda ccSvcssenis saved SEAS TERE treerd teen 28 Green: IPPASHUCHUITE nvrorreren vereen oen nett EERE EIET RNA 2928 Green On 29 Biodiversity Enhancement Features annen rnenvenenvenveneevenveneenenvenvenenveneenenven 30 Table 4: Habitat Biodiversity Enhancements annen veneenenveneenenvenvenenvenenneenen 34 Table 5: Species Biodiversity Enhancements nennen enenvenvenenveneenenvenenneenen 34 Other: Considerati Ons esi nets ladakh Meh. chest e lana 37 Permitted developments ssori e a R E A T EEs 37 Demoliton. sneaker 37 Renewable Energy Proposals ossa tes sendeorssnsertevern sess suveissdaasessavnverace eani danstenten deerde 37 External lighting Table 6: Measures which can be taken to reduce light intrusion or pollution 39 One Planet Development :srnreenesen irene naer 39 Appendix Li Glossary wesise tiie ahin ater inde dietetic tibiae tide SENEE 41 Appendix 2: Local Planning & Biodiversity Contacts no neneenervenvenenvenvenenvenn 44 Appendix 3: Ecological Survey Seasons annen enenveneenenveneevenvenenvenvenvenennenvenvenenn 45 Appendix 4: Bats European Protected Species: Trigger List nennen 46 Appendix 5: Advice Note relating to Green Roof Species Selection in Pembrokeshire 48 Appendix 6: List of native pond plants in Pembrokeshire aanne venvenen vene 49 Appendix 7: List of Invasive Non-Native Species in Pembrokeshire 50

Terrestrial ....


IMARING seas tes erneer nde veter eon bereke E exh heat ts detente wemiaus en derden Appendix 8: List of native trees and shrubs annen enenveneenenvenenvenveneenervenvenvenenn 51 Appendix 9 Hedsebank esi csscssissivetisccsbcesscssvesvees aids sceaassetetvesseatstbasesseseutsunedhaseeasesigntsadecidandaave 52 Appendix 10 Useful Websites and Documents annen eneeneneenenvenvenenvenvenvenenn 53

Useful WEDSIES runnen E EE E A AEE 53

Useful Documents serno iiie renine enden vana elder ten dear etn ak aaan 53

Other useful information iseseisana rar asi SEAN RERE EEN ENESE AESSR EERS 53


AA Appropriate Assessment

CROW (Act) Countryside and Rights of Way (Act) 2000 LBAP Local Biodiversity Action Plan

LDP Local Development Plan

LNR Local Nature Reserve

LANR Local Area of Nature Conservation

MNR Marine Nature Reserve

NNR National Nature Reserve

NRAP Nature Recovery Action Plan

NRW Natural Resources Wales

PCC Pembrokeshire County Council

PCNPA Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority PNP Pembrokeshire Nature Partnership

PPW Planning Policy Wales

SAB SuDS Approving Body

SAC Special Area of Conservation

SINC Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation SPA Special Protection Area

SPG Supplementary Planning Guidance

SSSI Site of Special Scientific Interest

SuDS Sustainable Drainage Scheme

TAN Technical Advice Note

TLSE Test of Likely Significant Effect

WG Welsh Government


Purpose of the document


Biodiversity encompasses all living plants and animals (including human- kind), and the habitats and ecosystems they (and we) depend on and support. Biodiversity is, literally, the breadth of life on earth and it is everywhere: in towns, gardens, fields, hedgerows, mountains, cliffs and in the sea. It is fundamental to the physical, economic and social well-being of all who live and work in Pembrokeshire but it also has a value in its own right.

Development can have negative impacts on biodiversity, both direct (for instance through the destruction of habitat) and indirect (such as through severance of wildlife corridors). These impacts can be significant and lead to the loss of biodiversity in the County. Development can also have positive impacts for biodiversity for example by integrating new roosting or nesting opportunities into buildings and enhancing the surrounding environment. This Biodiversity Supplementary Planning Guidance is intended to guide development within the County to ensure sustainable development which serves to protect and enhance biodiversity.

Biodiversity is a material consideration in the planning process and must be integrated from an early stage into the timetabling, design and delivery of any development.

. The purpose of this Biodiversity SPG is to provide guidance to everyone

involved with development proposals on legal responsibilities, obligations and the protection, conservation and enhancement of biodiversity during the development process. It supports the policies contained within Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority (PCNPA) and Pembrokeshire County Council’s (PCC) Local Development Plans and sets out policies on how biodiversity should be protected and enhanced. The guidance within this document will be used alongside these Local Development Plan policies.

It provides guidance on:

The legislation protecting flora, fauna and habitats

The relevant Local Development Plan policies

The information required when making a planning application

The integration of biodiversity into development proposals in order to enhance existing habitats and create new habitats for flora and fauna

Status of the Document

6. The Pembrokeshire Local Development Plan (LDP) (adopted February 2013) and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Local Development Plan (adopted September 2020) are the starting points for determining planning applications for development or the use of land in the respective planning authority areas in Pembrokeshire. This Supplementary Planning Guidance provides further detail and guidance on the implementation of Local Development Plan policy to assist those involved in the development process in meeting statutory and policy requirements.

. This Supplementary Planning Guidance when adopted will be a material

planning consideration in determining applications for planning permission.

Aims of the document


This Supplementary Planning Guidance aims to:

Assist in ensuring that the key principles of national planning policy and guidance on biodiversity and nature conservation are met fully at the local level;

Adhere and align with the new Welsh environmental legislative framework Assist in ensuring that local planning decisions do not result in adverse impacts on species and habitats and protect and enhance biodiversity across Pembrokeshire;

Ensure compliance with good practice;

Secure timely consideration of ecological issues from the outset and, in so doing, streamline the application process to minimise cost and delay;

More closely integrate Pembrokeshire’s Nature Recovery Action Plan into the planning process.

Biodiversity and Nature Conservation

Why is Biodiversity important and why we need to consider it?


As human beings we are an element of, and reliant on, the biodiversity of the planet. Increasingly, alongside its life-support functions, the economic and social benefits of biodiversity are recognised. Biodiversity is an important contributor to our quality of life, well-being and sense of place but it also has ‘intrinsic value’ a value in its own right, and is not something that should simply be viewed for its usefulness to humans.

10. Biodiversity in Pembrokeshire is influenced by both natural and anthropogenic


factors. Development can have significant negative impacts on biodiversity that can lead to the destruction of habitats and the loss of biodiversity. However, by considering biodiversity issues at an early stage in the design and development process, development can provide significant positive benefits for biodiversity e.g. through the creation of new and enhancing existing habitats, providing new opportunities for species conservation and enhancing ecological connectivity in the wider countryside.

The conservation of biodiversity, which entails both its protection and enhancement, is a principle set out in both law and planning policy. It is not only about protecting specific designated sites; it is also concerned with habitats and species beyond them. The edges or boundaries of sites and green corridors that link sites represent zones of transition from one ecosystem to another and are where two or more different types of habitat meet and integrate. These ecological edges or stepping stones often exhibit high levels of productivity and species richness and provide essential connectivity for wildlife therefore a break in a narrow ‘corridor can have a disproportionate effect on local and regional biodiversity.

Biodiversity in Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire’s biodiversity resources

12. Pembrokeshire is internationally important for its marine, coastal, heathland, riverine and ancient semi-natural oak woodland habitats.

13. The number of designated sites! in the County demonstrates its importance for biodiversity and its rich diversity of habitats and species, including marine and riverine Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs), Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), National Nature Reserves (NNRs), Local Nature Reserves (LNRs), Areas of Importance for Local Nature Conservation, and Wildlife Reserves.

14. These habitats support numerous rare and vulnerable species, such as otters, bats, dormice, farmland birds, Marsh Fritillary and Brown Hairstreak butterflies. The overall area that is formally designated for its biodiversity value, is high and many species exist and migrate across the area as a whole and beyond. The connectivity of habitats within and between designated sites and across the wider landscape is therefore crucial.

Pembrokeshire Nature Partnership

15. Several organisations work together in Pembrokeshire to maintain and improve local natural features and the services that they provide. Together, they form the Pembrokeshire Nature Partnership (PNP). The Partnership, which includes public bodies, private sector companies, charities, community groups and individuals with an interest in the protection and enhancement of our natural resources in Pembrokeshire. Pembrokeshire Nature Partnership will continue to support, coordinate and initiate actions amongst existing and new Partners and will seek to record information on conservation action to feed into the reporting for the Nature Recovery Action Plan for Wales.

Pembrokeshire Nature Recovery Action Plan

16. The Nature Recovery Action Plan for Pembrokeshire ? has been produced by the Pembrokeshire Nature Partnership. Whilst it can be used to guide the members of the Partnership in setting their priorities for action, it is a guide for everyone to use. This plan follows on from the Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Pembrokeshire, which remains a valuable source of information and advice specific to species and habitats covered in that plan.

17.The Welsh Government has published its Nature Recovery Action Plan for Wales, which sets six key objectives in order to halt the decline in biodiversity. The Pembrokeshire Nature Recovery Action Plan takes these objectives and sets them in the context of local priorities, inviting partners to work together in

1 Maps, descriptions and management information for each of these sites can be found using the designated sites search at: Natural Resources Wales or on the County Council's website. 2 See Pembrokeshire County Council’s website.


a set of broad action themes to meet the objectives. Specific actions will be recorded as they are identified and delivered. This plan is informed by and contributes towards the goals and duties set out in recent legislation such as the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Environment (Wales) Act 2016. Within this context, the full range of benefits to the environment, society and the economy from nature conservation and enhancement measures should be taken into account. For example, the conservation of wetlands for the intrinsic value of the habitats and species found there may also improve water quality downstream, reduce the severity of flood events, preserve cultural associations with the local landscape and provide access opportunities to improve the wellbeing of local people and support the visitor economy.

Legislation and Policy

Key principles 18. The key principles to consider are that:

= The Local Planning Authority has a statutory duty to maintain and enhance biodiversity in the exercise of their functions to demonstrate that they have sought to fulfil the duties and requirements of Section 6 of the Environment (Wales) Act by taking all reasonable steps to maintain and enhance biodiversity in the exercise of their functions? under the Environment (Wales) Act 2016. Welsh Government has advised planning authorities (23 October 2019) ‘..where biodiversity enhancement is not proposed as part of an application, significant weight will be given to its absence, and unless other significant material considerations indicate otherwise it will be necessary to refuse planning permission.’

= Local Planning Authorities are expected to promote approaches to development that create new opportunities to enhance biodiversity, prevent losses, reverse declines and compensate for losses that are unavoidable.

= Both Pembrokeshire County Council and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority are committed to the implementation of the Nature Recovery Action Plan that identifies nature conservation interest and sets aims for future work planning. This work will tie in with the all-Wales NRAP to ensure that planning authorities contribute to their responsibilities and obligations for biodiversity and habitats.

" Certain sites, habitats and species are afforded legal protection. Planning Authorities have an obligation to protect and promote their long-term conservation as part of the planning process. Tables 1, 2 and 3, provide a brief overview of these.

International, European and UK legislation

19. The following international and national legislation provides statutory protection to many of the species and habitats in Pembrokeshire:

= The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (“The Habitats Regulations”) transposes the EU directive on the Conservation of Wild Fauna and Flora (“The Habitats Directive”) (92/43/EEC) and elements of the EU Wild Birds Directive into UK law. This legislation required the establishment of a network of protected sites including SACs and SPAs and affords a high level of protection to identified individual species (such as otters) and species groups (Such as

3. PPW 4011 (20482021) Section 6.4.8.

bats). Alongside the Wild Birds Directive (below), these sites form part of a coordinated network of protected areas ensuring the long-term survival of Europe's most valued and threatened species and habitats.

Natural Resources Wales Planning Policy Guidance on Water Quality in Riverine Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)

In January 2021 Natural Resources Wales published an assessment of

phosphate levels in Riverine SACs in Wales. The assessment showed a failure to meet targets in the Dee, Cleddau, Wye, Teifi and Usk.

Alongside this data Natural Resources Wales published a Planning position statement and Interim guidance which should both be considered by

applicants for proposals within the catchment or which impact on the waterbody of a Riverine SAC. More information is available via the Pembrokeshire County Council website: guidance-from-national-resources-wales

The EU Wild Birds Directive (2009) Regulation 9A places a statutory duty on public bodies for the provision of sufficient diversity and area of habitats for wild birds. Guidance on the interpretation and implementation of Regulation 9A is currently in preparation.

UK Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) sets the general framework for habitats and species protection and provides statutory protection for certain species additional to those protected under the Habitats Regulations.

Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 concerned with improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales. The Act places a duty on public bodies listed in the Act to carry out sustainable development. In order to do this, public bodies are required to work towards seven well-being goals. All listed public bodies must develop well-being objectives.

The Environment (Wales) Act 2016 puts in place legislation needed to plan and manage Wales’ natural resources in a more proactive, sustainable and joined-up way includes:

o Biodiversity and Resilience of Ecosystems Duty: Section 6 under Part 1 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 introduced an enhanced biodiversity and resilience of ecosystems duty (Section 6 Duty) requiring that public bodies must seek to maintain and enhance biodiversity so far as consistent with the proper exercise of their functions and in doing so, promote the resilience of ecosystems

o Sustainable Management of Natural Resources: sets out Wales’ approach to planning and managing natural resources at a national and local level with a general purpose linked to statutory principles


of SMNR defined within the Act. The three main components include:

> The State of Natural Resources Report (SoNaRR): Sets out the state of Wales’ natural resources).

> Natural Resources Policy (NRP): Produced by Welsh Government, sets out priorities, risks and opportunities for the sustainable management of natural resources taking into account the findings of the SoNaRR report.

> Area Statements: Produced by NRW to implement one or more of the priorities and opportunities outlined in the NRP at an appropriate spatial scale. They translate the high level strategic priorities while taking into account local needs, opportunities and pressures.

Protection of Badgers Act 1992 protects badgers and their setts.

The Hedgerow Regulations 1997 classifies and protects certain hedgerows using specified criteria.

The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Wales) Regulations 2017 - requires that certain types of project are subject to an assessment of their environmental impact before planning permission can be determined.

Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Town and Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999. Town and Country Planning (Trees) (Amendment) 2012. An order made by the local planning authority which makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a protected tree without the planning authority’s permission.

The Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) (Wales) Regulations 2017 Transpose international obligations into national law. They ensure that any projects that may impact on the environment are thoroughly assessed before they commence. The screening process evaluates the impact of the proposed project on the environment and the wider landscape. These regulations seek to protect farmland habitats, including historically important land, from damaging agricultural activities.

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000) - strengthens the protection of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and amends the Wildlife and Countryside Act with regard to certain protected species.

National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act (1949) sets out two statutory purposes for National Parks in England and Wales. When the aims and purposes conflict with each other, then the Sandford Principle should be used to give more weight to conservation of the environment.


1. Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage

2. Promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of national parks by the public

= The Environment Act (1995) states that the first Statutory Purpose of National Parks is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park. In addition to this, the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 sets out a biodiversity ‘duty’ for all Local Authorities (including National Park Authorities) in Wales stating that “Every Public Authority must, in exercising its functions, have regard, so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions, to the purpose of conserving biodiversity”

National planning policy and guidance

20. The planning process operates in parallel with relevant environmental



legislation, to deliver government commitments. The significance of the above legislation and commitments is reflected in the importance accorded to biodiversity in national planning policy. Planning Policy Wales (PPW), Edition 40 11, 2048 2021, emphasises the importance of integrating nature conservation or biodiversity into all planning decisions at an early stage, whilst looking for development to deliver social, environmental and economic objectives together over time. Specific guidance in relation to nature conservation is available in chapter six of PPW +%-11-and TAN 5 Nature Conservation and Planning (2009).

. The British Standards Institute (BSI) has published the British Standards for

Biodiversity Code of practice for planning and development (BS 420202:2013). The document amalgamates best practice and gives recommendations and guidance for those in the planning and development sectors whose work might affect or have implications on biodiversity. PCC and PCNPA will take into account the British Standard for Biodiversity and would encourage those in the planning, development and environmental sector to adopt the processes and recommendations as published.

22. The Nature Recovery Action Plan for Wales is a live document and its

ambition is to ‘reverse the decline in biodiversity for its intrinsic value, and to ensure lasting benefits to society’. It links to and complements The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, and sets out how current and proposed action will contribute to reversing the loss of biodiversity across Wales.


Local Development Plan Policy

24. Pembrokeshire County Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP) (excluding the area of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park) expands upon the principles in Planning Policy Wales 49-11 and The British Standards for Biodiversity, through policies which seek to ensure that development protects and enhances biodiversity and encourages proposals that achieve this.

Pembrokeshire County Council Local Development Plan - List of most Relevant Policies

SP.1 Sustainable Development an overarching strategic policy that relates to all proposals. It aims to ensure that all development is sustainable.

GN.1 General Development Policy provides a framework for the evaluation of potential development impacts. Criterion 4 ensures that development will respect and protect the natural environment, including protected habitats and species. Any development proposal must demonstrate that it protects the natural environment and, where possible, enhances it.

GN.3 Infrastructure and New Development makes provision for contributions to be sought, where appropriate and necessary, in conjunction with development proposals including for biodiversity.

GN.37 Protection and Enhancement of Biodiversity requires all new developments to demonstrate a positive approach to maintaining and, where possible, enhancing biodiversity. It aims to ensure that species and their habitats as well as wildlife and landscape features in both countryside and urban environments are protected from the potentially adverse effects of development and requires that where any such effects are anticipated, appropriate mitigation and/or enhancement should be made.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Local Development Plan - List of most Relevant Policies

Policy 1 National Park Purposes and Duty - the overarching policy of the Plan fundamental to conserving and enhancing the wildlife National Park.

Policy 8 Special Qualities - identifies the need for development to positively enhance the National Park’s ecosystems and components that underpin them. Links between sites are important

Policy 9 Light Pollution seeks to ensure the minimal impact of lighting on the night sky.

Policy 10 Sites and Species of European Importance

Policy 11 Nationally Protected Sites and Species

Policy 12 Local Sites of Nature Conservation protection of areas of local importance including habitats and species of principal importance to Wales, areas providing connectivity.

Policy 30 Sustainable Design

Policy 33 Surface Water Drainage


Table 1. Protection of Sites

Importance Feature Legislation & Policy Implications for Development International National Site Network | The Conservation of Sites are protected Special Area of Habitats and Species against potentially Conservation (SAC) Regulations 2017 (as damaging operations. Special Protection amended) The Strong presumption Area (SPA) “Habitats Regulations” against damaging development. Ramsar ‘Wetland of Ramsar Convention SPA’s and SAC’s International (1971) known collectively as Importance’. ‘Natura 2000’ sites- ‘the national site network’ National Sites of Special Wildlife and Countryside | Sites are protected Scientific Interest Act (1981) (as amended) | against potentially (SSSI) damaging operations. National Parks and National Nature Access to the Strong presumption Reserves (NNR) Countryside Act (1949) against damaging or Wildlife and development. Countryside Act (1981) (as amended) Local Local Nature National Parks and Sites to be protected

Reserves (LNR)

Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC)

Access to the Countryside Act (1949) Planning Policy Wales edition 49-11 (2018)

and enhanced.

Planning Policy Wales 40-11 (6-342 6.4.20)


Table 2. Protection of Habitats

International Importance

Habitats of European Importance (see Priority Habitats)

The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended)

Habitat may be a designated feature of a Natura-2000 site National site network site (see above)

National or Local Importance


Hedgerow Regulations (1997)

Certain hedgerows are protected from removal Hedgerows to be protected and enhanced

Species and habitats of principal importance for

the purpose of maintaining and enhancing biodiversity in relation to Wales And/or included in Pembrokeshire


Environment (Wales) Act 2016, Section 7 Pembrokeshire Nature Recovery Action Plan

Planning consideration


Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Town and Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999. Town and Country Planning (Trees) (Amendment) 2012. Town and Country Planning (Trees) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2017

An order made by the local planning authority which makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a protected tree without the planning authority’s permission.


Table 3. Protection of Species

Importance | Feature Legislation and Policy | Implications for Development International | European Protected The Conservation of Species are protected Importance Species including Bats | Habitats and Species from intentional or (all species), Regulations 2017 (as reckless killing, injury or Dormouse, Otter amended) capture. Areas used for shelter or protection are protected from intentional or reckless destruction and whilst the species is using any such site, it is protected from intentional or reckless disturbance. Habitats Directive and | The Conservation of Protected through the Birds Directive Species | Habitats and Species designation of SAC/SPA Regulations 2017 (as amended) National Badgers Protection of Badgers Setts and badgers are Importance Act 1992 protected from intentional or reckless interference. Schedule 5 Animals Wildlife and Countryside | Species have different including: Water Voles, | Act (1981) (as amended) | levels of protection Reptiles including: protection from Schedule 8 plants intentional killing, injury including: Bluebell or taking; uprooting or Schedule 1 birds destruction; protection including: Barn owl, from harm at all times; or Cetti’s warbler whilst nesting. Species Nesting birds (all should be protected and species) their habitats enhanced. Local Species of all principal | Environment (Wales) Act | Planning consideration Importance Importance and/or 2016. Section 7

included in the NRAP


Protecting and Enhancing Biodiversity in the Development Process

Building Biodiversity into development



This section considers how biodiversity is best protected and enhanced through the development management process. There are three key elements to this:

= Providing accurate information with the planning application on the existing status of habitats or features and the presence of plants, invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds or mammals (including bats) on or adjacent to the proposed development site.

= Where it is known that a protected or priority species or habitat is present, ensuring that assessments are undertaken to identify the potential impact(s) of the proposed development on them, so as to inform the planning process.

= Where such assessments demonstrate that species or habitats would be adversely affected, ensuring the development proposal is modified, to avoid the destruction or damage of sites used by protected species and/or to mitigate/compensate any potential impact.

Biodiversity needs to be considered at all stages during the development process. Understanding the habitats and species that are present ona development site (including Invasive Non Native Species, see Appendix 7) will help to comply with legislation protecting wildlife and habitats, meet planning policy requirements and protect and enhance habitats and species.

Figure 1: Guidance to protect and enhance biodiversity through the application process.


Development Proposal

Figure 1. Good Practice Process v

Pre-application Stage Pre-application discussion with NRW and LPA Planning

| $ 4

Check for survey requirements Consider need for HRA (AA)

Employ consultant

Carry out surveys

Data search (WWBIC LRC)

Application stage Submit application and nature conservation report Council consults statutory (NRW) and non- | statutory consultees (AA and TLSE)

ý Y

Approval Refusal

Post application stage Applicant obtains relevant licence

Discharge conditions


Start work (monitoring if required)


Protected Species

27. The presence of protected species will not usually prevent development

entirely but steps will need to be taken to ensure there is no damage or disturbance to the species and to secure the protection of the species. It is the applicant or developer’s responsibility to ensure they comply with relevant legislation and licensing. Failure to do so can be a criminal offence which may result in the person(s) concerned liable to a heavy fine and/or a prison sentence; for example, maximum penalties for destroying a bat roost are six months’ imprisonment and/or a £5,000 fine per individual animal harmed. It is the responsibility of the Local Planning Authority to consider species and habitats when determining a planning application and to ensure that there are no unnecessary adverse impacts.

28.Where licences have been obtained (see paragraph 54-57) in respect of

protected species, these will also usually require some level of post- development survey and monitoring.

European Protected Species

29.There are a number of European Protected Species in Pembrokeshire; these

include-otters, bats_fall species} and dermice. The Local Planning Authority will consider the potential impact of the proposed development upon these species based on information provided by the applicant to support their application. This may include a Protected Species or Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey, proposals for compensation, mitigation or enhancement and drawings to support the inclusion of such features. Consultation may also take place with Natural Resources Wales (NRW). If this information is not provided and is considered necessary as a requirement for the purposes of planning, then this may be requested.

Protected Sites

30.European Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection


Areas (SPAs), are designated under the EC Habitats Directive as sites that will make a significant contribution to conserving habitats and species identified as most in need of conservation. There are a number of these sites in Pembrokeshire; certain forms of development impact upon habitats and/or species for which these sites are designated.

Before approving any plan or project the Local Planning Authority, as the competent authority, must assess whether the proposals are likely to have a significant effect upon the European protected sites (SACs/SPA’s). The first stage of the Habitats Regulations Assessment is to screen the proposal through a Test of Likely Significant Effect (TLSE) as required under regulation 63 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations. If it is considered that the proposal is likely to have a significant effect an Appropriate Assessment will be carried out. If mitigation options cannot avoid


an adverse effect, then an assessment of alternative solutions would be examined. Where no alternative solution exists an assessment will be undertaken to establish if the development is necessary for imperative reasons of over-riding public interest (IROPI).

32. Applicants and developers are advised to seek advice regarding the likely effects of development upon European protected sites. For more information on features of individual protected sites in Pembrokeshire see Natural Resources Wales website.

33. Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are designated by Natural Resources Wales as being the best examples of rare or characteristic habitats, sites for certain species or for their geodiversity interest. Some SSSls have also been designated as National Nature Reserves (NNRs), where the land is managed as a nature reserve. These sites can be viewed on Lle the Geoportal for Wales.

34.A development site may also be located within an area of local importance for nature conservation. Some may be formally recognised, such as Local Nature Reserves, or may not be formally recognised but provide important nature conservation value. The value may include its role as a wildlife corridor or as habitat such as unimproved grassland, coastal habitats and heath and moorland, as well as features such as road verges. Areas of importance for local nature conservation would be identified as:

= Supporting habitats of principal importance for Wales.

= Supporting, or is likely to support, species of principal importance for Wales for all or part of their lifecycle.

= Providing ecological corridors, stepping stones, or contain features which enhance habitat connectivity and ecological resilience of international, national and locally important sites.

= Providing supporting services to or buffer sites of importance (e.g. hydrological connectivity.

Pre-application discussions

Consider ecology early on to ensure it does not result in avoidable delays

35. The potential for species and habitat features to be affected by a development must be considered at the first stage of any scheme. Failure to do so may prevent a planning application from being validated or lead to delays in the planning process or to refusal of consent.

36. The planning departments welcome early discussions of ecological issues at the pre-application stage. This will help to identify if ecological surveys are required to support a planning application. Information about the pre- application process can be found on Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Pembrokeshire County Council’s websites. For more details of


survey requirements see the following sections on ‘Protected Species’ and ‘Protected Sites’ as well as at the Local Planning Authority websites (See Appendix 2: Local Planning & Biodiversity ContactsAppendix2-Lecal Planning & Biodi HC ).

37.Pre-application discussions with statutory consultees such as Natural Resources Wales is also recommended, in addition to non-statutory consultees if appropriate.

Information and Surveys

38. The level of information should be necessary, relevant and proportionate to the development and adequate to inform the determination of the application. If an ecological survey is required it will need to be undertaken and incorporated into the early stages of a project. This will enable design work to take full account of constraints and opportunities on site.

39. Surveyors should use nationally recognised survey guidelines/methods where available. A suitably qualified ecological consultant will need to be employed to carry out any necessary survey(s). There are seasonal and time constraints to ecological surveying, which should be carefully planned into the development process. Appendix 3 sets out Ecological Survey Seasons. If you are unsure about survey requirements, pre-application advice should be sought.

40. Survey information should include data sourced from the Local Records Centre - West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre.

41.In some cases where there is not a reasonable likelihood for protected habitats or species to be present or affected by development, survey work may not be needed. However, additional information may still be requested by the Local Planning Authority in order to assist with the determination of the planning application.


Design Stages

Figure 2: Five Key Principles for Planning for Biodiversity

Avoid (Primary objective is to avoid negative impacts on wildlife)

Stage 1 Mitigate

(Where avoidance is not possible)



Compensate (Only where it is not possible to avoid or mitigate)

= D 5 D Q ®

(To ensure long lasting benefits)


All impacts addressed = No loss of Biodiversity

ee D Q © No

Enhance (Required)


Manage (To ensure long lasting benefits)


Net biodiversity gain


42. It is important that the findings of any survey work are taken into careful consideration during the design stage. Good survey work will provide details of both the constraints and opportunities on a site. A proposal must show how it has been designed in such a way so as to avoid or minimise any adverse effects on those habitats or species present. This may involve incorporating appropriate new features or habitats within the development or site.

43.Fig .2 above outlines a two-stage process for design using the five principles of planning for biodiversity. Stage 1 relates specifically to addressing the impacts of the proposed development. Logical progression through the avoid, mitigate, compensate hierarchy is aimed at achieving no loss of biodiversity as a result of development. Proposed enhancements are not considered at this stage. Stage 2 aims to achieve a net biodiversity gain by identifying opportunities for enhancing biodiversity as part of the proposed development.


44.Wherever possible, development should avoid impacting on any wildlife feature. The primary objective should be to avoid negative