Development in the countryside, Cheryl Marriott

We work to ensure that wildlife is protected and enhanced at all stages of the development planning process. We do this by responding to planning applications, by commenting on Local Development Framework documents and by producing guidance for planning officers, developers, consultants and the public.

Planning applications

Cornwall Wildlife Trust is consulted on applications for major developments and applications which will affect County Wildlife Sites. We aim to ensure that wherever possible ecological features such as Cornish hedges, trees and ponds are incorporated into the design of a development in line with local and national planning policy.

If you are concerned about a planning application near you having a detrimental effect upon wildlife, please have a look at our advice under our Development planned near you?

Local Development Frameworks (LDFs)

LDFs are documents produced by Local Planning Authorities that set out which areas of land are proposed for development, and give detail on the planning policies which will be used to determine planning applications in those areas. Cornwall Wildlife Trust is a consultee in this process as we feel it is important to ensure that land rich in wildlife is not allocated for development. We also comment on development control policies to ensure that sufficient protection for species and habitats is included.

Cornwall Council is currently developing a 'Green Infrastructure Strategy' as part of the LDF to map, preserve and enhance our networks of green spaces throughout our villages and towns. Cornwall Wildlife Trust is continuing to inform and advise the council on this strategy. The council is also developing a 'Core Strategy' to outline the broad scale and distribution for development in Cornwall such as housing and employment. Go to our Have Your Say page to find out how to influence the development of these documents and respond to the council's consultations.

Guidance documents - for planners, consultants and developers

In partnership, we produce guidance on wildlife and planning which can be found on the Cornwall Council website, including guidance on bat surveys for wind turbine proposals, and solar pv farms.

We have also developed specific advice for ecological consultants in order to assist them in preparing reports to accompany planning applications, and to maximise biodiversity gain that can be achieved through development. We advise consultants look at Cornwall Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Volume 4: Priority Projects to see if the site they are working on falls within one of the 11 BAP priority areas, and find out how they can contribute to the BAP through enhancements at the site. A net gain in Cornish hedge is always advised (and planners are requesting this), which would contribute to the 'Connectivity' project.

Together with Cornwall Council, we also produced a guidance document (large 4 MB file) for planning officers and developers. This guidance aims to simplify national planning policy and legislation and make it relevant to Cornwall, and an update is planned soon. A similar document covering the Isles of Scilly has been produced and is available on the Council of the Isles of Scilly website. The Association of Local Government Ecologists (ALGE) are in the process of producing some cutting-edge interactive guidance for widllife and planning advice (please note this is still under development).