In order to ensure that biodiversity and landscape issues are taken into account as part of the planning process, and within our plan making, we have taken account of existing strategies and have also produced a supporting evidence base.
To help secure our aims and objectives regarding biodiversity and landscape we will expect development proposals to take account of biodiversity and landscape policies both within national policy and our Development Plan and we will work with partners to implement relevant strategies.
To assist the conservation and enhancement of our landscapes and to inform the production of the Local Development Framework we have carried out a Landscape Character Assessment of the District. This provides an objective methodology for assessing our varied landscape and contains information about the character, condition and sensitivity of the landscape to give a greater understanding of what makes our landscape locally distinctive. The study recognises this local distinction through the identification of Policy Zones across 5 Landscape Character Types.
Following a period of consultation and the making of subsequent amendments the Landscape Character Assessment was adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document on the 11th December 2013. To view the SPD please follow the link below.
The protection and enhancement of the area's biodiversity and open spaces should be seen not just as the protection of individual elements of our towns and villages but as part of the development of an overall 'Green Infrastructure Network' of greenspaces, landscapes and natural elements which intersperse and connect our settlements and surrounding areas. To help realise this network we have produced a Green Infrastructure Strategy that identifies a number of strategic and specific area based interventions. We will support the development of this Green Infrastructure Network by encouraging development proposals that cross or adjoin the network to make provision for its implementation or enhancement.
Newark and Sherwood contains an impressive range of habitats each supporting its own characteristic species. The District also has a number of sites which receive specific protection because of their international, national or county/ regional importance for nature conservation including the Birklands and Bilhaugh Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, Local Nature Reserves and a large number of Sites of Interest for Nature Conservation.
The Nottinghamshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan seeks to focus resources to conserve and enhance biodiversity by means of local partnerships that take account of both national and local priorities. The Action Plan assesses the current situation, identifies the main threats to species or habitat, sets targets for their conservation and restoration and outlines the required actions necessary to achieve these aims and objectives.
Our Nature Conservation Strategy provides the basis to protect and develop the diverse wildlife within Newark and Sherwood District and to help achieve the Nottinghamshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan's objectives. The strategy identifies a broad range of issues that affect Newark and Sherwood’s wildlife and also identifies current levels of conservation activity within the District.
Nature conservation can be a significant material consideration in the determination of planning applications, not only on designated sites but also, for example, sites supporting protected species. Of particular importance in the District are the number of proposals to convert rural buildings into new dwellings or business premises, which often provide valuable habitats for bats and other protected species. For such applications, the District Council will normally require a protected species survey to undertaken. Natural England maintains a list of ecological consultants who hold the necessary licences to undertake such surveys.
Newark and Sherwood District Council
Landscape Character Assessment: