News release from 23/07/2021

Residents asked to comment on biodiversity guidance

Residents asked to comment on biodiversity guidance

New planning guidance about how to increase biodiversity in new development has been published for public consultation by the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service.

The new Biodiversity Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)  has been developed by Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District councils to help developers and applicants maximise biodiversity on their sites. The aim is to ensure that development increases biodiversity on the site by at least 10%, in line with the proposals anticipated in the upcoming Environment Bill. Communities across Greater Cambridge are asked to comment on the new guidance during an eight-week consultation period.

The new Biodiversity SPD is part of a number of initiatives across the area which aim to better protect and enhance our natural habitats and species through the planning system by setting out clearer guidance for developers. It complements the recent Doubling Nature Strategy, released by South Cambridgeshire District Council in February 2021, and Cambridge City Council’s Biodiversity Strategy, which has also been published for public consultation today.

Cllr Katie Thornburrow and Cllr Tumi Hawkins

Cllr Dr. Tumi Hawkins, Lead Cabinet Member for Planning at South Cambridgeshire District Council (pictured above right), said: “Greater Cambridge has well below average tree cover and relatively little nature-rich land. At South Cambridgeshire District Council, we are committed to changing this through our pledge to Double Nature, which means doubling the amount of land managed for nature by 2050, working with our partners across the region. This clear guidance for developers is critical in helping us achieve this goal and ensuring that every new development plays its part in increasing biodiversity in our area.”

Cllr Katie Thornburrow, Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, Cambridge City Council (pictured above left), said: “Climate change and loss of biodiversity are some of the biggest challenges facing our area. The City Council has set out what we propose to do with our own green spaces and developments through our new Biodiversity Strategy, which is also published for consultation today. Alongside this we need private developers to do their bit and this planning guidance is an important tool to help them meet our requirements. Please let us know whether you think the guidance will help achieve this aim, through our consultation.”

The consultation runs for eight weeks from Friday 23 July 2021 until Friday 17 September 2021. Further information can be found on the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning website