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Planning and Development

Note about Nature Map post changes in Regional Planning Structures

Nature Map was developed as a strategic planning tool for the South West. It was developed to help guide both conservation practitioners to the areas where the best opportunities exist for restoring and expanding biodiversity; but also as a tool to help guide decision makers, planners and others when considering biodiversity as part of a suite of measures.

Nature conservation is not limited by boundaries and therefore Nature Map principles still apply in helping to guide strategic decisions that influence biodiversity. This is true both in planning and for other uses as Nature Map identifies at a strategic scale the best areas for biodiversity interest and conservation. We therefore encourage local planners to continue to use Nature Map for strategic planning.

Nature Map has been ratified by local Biodiversity Action Plan partnerships, by many organisations and by Biodiversity South West. It was a key evidence layer in the development of the Regional Spatial Strategy. Nature Map is still a key part of the evidence base and as such should still form a material consideration in planning decisions. It is also at the heart of the development of a 5 year delivery plan for biodiversity in the South West, so continues to help shape thinking around delivery of biodiversity, embedding this within a 50 year vision for biodiversity rich places supporting healthy local communities.

Naomi Brookes
11th August 2010

Nature Map - Planning and Development

The South West Nature Map shows the best areas to maintain and expand (through restoration and/or re-creation) terrestrial wildlife habitats at a landscape scale. Policy ENV4 of the draft South West Regional Spatial Strategy requires all South West local authorities to implement Nature Map as a means of implementing the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Biodiversity South West has produced 'South West Nature Map - A Planners Guide' (link here to library page and put as download at edge of page) to assist planners producing Local Development Frameworks (LDF's) outlining how Nature Map can be included within LDFs.

The guidance explains how Nature Map should be introduced into each LDF element. Included are practical delivery mechanisms, such as developer contributions and green infrastructure. It gives illustrations showing new developments integrating Nature Map objectives. The guidance contains the Nature Map for each County in the South West.

Nature Map is already being used to target action for habitat re-creation in each County in the South West, but its inclusion in LDF's will mean greater scope to formulate sustainable choices for development and integrate human and natural communities.

The diagram below outlines the steps needed to incorporate Nature Map into LDFs. More details can be found in the guidance.

Steps needed to incorporate Nature Map into LDFs