To achieve this, the partnership will develop an interactive web-based planning tool so that any planning application can be screened for its potential impact on biodiversity. In response to a few straightforward questions, the user of the tool will get an indication of whether the proposed development is likely to affect protected and priority species and if ecological expert advice should be sought to assess this.
Designed for use by non-ecologists, the interactive planning tool can be used before an application is submitted to provide applicants with a clear indication of the biodiversity issues likely to be encountered by a proposed development. Once the planning application has been submitted, the tool can be used by a local planning authority to perform a simple check to see whether sufficient ecological information has been submitted with the application.
The organisations involved in the partnership represent either protected and priority species or expert stakeholders in the planning process. This unique collaboration of developer, planning and ecological expertise will produce a practical tool that will benefit all participants in the planning process and provide positive outcomes for biodiversity.
Led by the Bat Conservation Trust, the Partnership for Biodiversity in Planning is a four year UK-wide project funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. To see a full list of the project partners, please visit the project website at www.biodiversityinplanning.org