Barnsley Council Implements Stringent Wildlife Regulations

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Barnsley Council has introduced tougher regulations regarding wildlife and green spaces for developers, in response to updated governmental directives aimed at safeguarding biodiversity.

The council’s supplementary planning document on biodiversity and geodiversity outlines the criteria that developers must adhere to when submitting planning applications, with the primary objective of preserving wildlife and green areas.

During a session held this morning, the BMBC’s cabinet unanimously approved an update mandating that all construction ventures incorporate a minimum of 10 per cent biodiversity net gain.

Biodiversity net gain entails that any new construction project must achieve a net gain of 10 per cent in biodiversity or habitat. For instance, if a housing development encroaches upon a woodland area, an equivalent area of woodland must be reinstated either on-site or elsewhere within the borough.

The statutory requirement came into effect under the Town and Country Planning Act on 12 February for larger sites and on 2 April 2024 for smaller sites.

Furthermore, newly established or improved habitats are now obligated to be preserved for a minimum of 30 years through planning obligations or conservation covenants.

Barnsley’s Local Plan, adopted in 2019, aims to deliver 1,134 homes annually, totalling 21,546 by 2033, as per the plan’s lifespan.

The revised legislation stipulates that lands affected by these developments must be compensated for in terms of biodiversity.

Exceptions to these regulations include householder applications, small-scale and custom housebuilding, and developments affecting habitats below 25 square metres.

Additionally, living roofs will be considered for all new roofs exceeding 25 square metres, and integrated bat and bird boxes will be mandatory for all new homes.

The policy highlights the occurrence of ‘extinction events’ on local, regional, national, and international scales, attributing the phenomenon to habitat loss and species decline exacerbated by development, climate change, and various other factors.

Council representatives hailed the policy as a ‘positive step’ for Barnsley, asserting that it will uphold the highest standards for future developments.

Echoing similar sentiments, the council leader expressed confidence that the policy would align with the council’s aspirations.

The policy is slated for further consideration by the full council on March 28.

This move by Barnsley Council reflects a growing trend towards stricter environmental regulations and demonstrates a commitment to preserving biodiversity amidst ongoing development pressures. The forthcoming council meeting in March will provide an opportunity for broader discussion and potential ratification, underscoring the significance of collaborative efforts in addressing environmental challenges at the local level.

Elliot Preece
Elliot Preece
Founder | Editor Elliot is an experienced journalist manager with a passion for writing. He played a pivotal role in building the News Write Ups website as a web developer and has since been leading the team of journalists to produce high-quality content. With his strong background in writing and web development, Elliot ensures that the website not only functions smoothly but also provides engaging and informative articles for readers.

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