Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Decision Made
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
This report will provide details of and seek approval to prepare/consult on the Biodiversity Action Plan/reporting under the Statutory Duty for Reporting on Biodiversity and continued support for Biodiversity Net Gain project.
1.That the Council’s Interim Net Gain project utilising Council owned woodland be continued as proposed and the necessary work and efforts be made to register the land for Biodiversity Net Gain credits under the Environment Act 2021 including the appointment of a consultant to undertake the necessary surveys and to provide advice on the longer-term management of the scheme be approved.
2. That the Council continues preparation for Mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain, commencing in 2023, to include:
- Continuing to develop guidance and procedures for Development Management
- Collating information on Biodiversity Net Gain being provided in the Borough and developing a longer-term strategy for the offsite provision for Biodiversity Net Gain.
- The appointment of KCC Ecology under a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to assist in the review of Biodiversity Net Gain Plans submitted in support of planning applications in the Borough be approved.
3. As required by the Environment Act 2021, the Council prepare and publish a Biodiversity Report through consultation with Members and key stakeholders and that it shall meet the minimum requirements of the Biodiversity Duty and set out the Council’s Biodiversity Action Plan be approved.
4. That delegated authority be given to the Head of Planning in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning to implement the actions set out in recommendations 1-3, including entering into an SLA with KCC Ecology following any necessary negotiations be approved. And further that delegated authority be given to the Head of Legal Partnership in consultation with the Head of Planning to negotiate and complete all necessary agreements with the consultant referred to in Para 1 above, including negotiations with KCC Ecology to seek to secure a 1-year review clause and two training sessions for Members and officers be approved.
REASON FOR DECISION: To comply with the Council’s Corporate Planning roles and responsibilities under the Environment Act 2021.
Report author: Ellen Gilbert
Publication date: 21/09/2023
Date of decision: 21/09/2023
Decided at meeting: 21/09/2023 - Cabinet
Effective from: 30/09/2023