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Thomson Ecology HandbookPlanning policy and guidance: Wales

TEH Index

Part 1: Legal frameworks

Part 2: Planning policy and other guidance

Part 3: Development and features of biodiversity importance

Part 4: Surveys and assessment

Part 5: Mitigation and enhancement

Part 6: Practical techniques

Planning policy and guidance: Wales

The following policy and guidance is most relevant to planning and biodiversity in Wales:

Planning Policy Wales (8th Ed. January 2016)

Planning Policy Wales (PPW) sets out the approach to be taken through the land use planning system in Wales. It provides the policy framework for the preparation of local development plans intended to contribute towards ‘sound economic development, the conservation of natural assets and to the quality of life of individuals and communities’.

Chapter 5, Conserving and Improving the Natural Heritage and Coast, sets out the Welsh Assembly Government’s objectives for the natural heritage and the land-use planning policies that support them. Importantly it states that ‘Local planning authorities must address biodiversity issues, insofar as they relate to land-use planning, in both development plans and development control decisions.’

PPW 2016 requires local planning authorities to set out within their development plans a policy framework for the conservation and enhancement of the natural heritage specific to the local area, and includes policies for coastal areas where relevant. It is important, therefore, to align development proposals not only to national policy, but to local planning policies contained within the relevant local development plan (LDP).

Technical Advice Note 5 (TAN5) Nature Conservation and Planning (2009)

Technical Advice Note 5 (TAN5) provides advice about how the land use planning system should contribute to protecting and enhancing biodiversity and geological conservation. In essence it sets out the manner in which planning authorities should comply with their duty under the NERC Act 2006. It is intended to be used in parallel with Planning Policy Wales.

TAN5 contains a set of key principles. One of these principles is that the town and country planning system in Wales should “integrate nature conservation into all planning decisions” and another is that it should look for development to provide a net benefit for biodiversity conservation with no significant loss of habitats or populations of species, locally or nationally.

Local Development Plans

Local Development Plans must be produced by every local planning authority in Wales. These Plans include policies relating to biodiversity and nature conservation. These generally reflect and build on the planning policy guidance set out in Planning Policy Wales. Typical policies make reference to:

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