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Suffolk Wildlife Trust recognises that the planning process has an important part to play in safeguarding the future of our wildlife and the environments they inhabit. We offer advice to all Suffolk Councils at the strategic level with input in to Local Plans, Local Development Frameworks and other major plans.

We also comment and offer advice to development control officers on individual planning applications where we feel there will be a significant impact, negative or positive, on wildlife and habitats.

Suffolk is a growing region with nearly 10,000 planning applications made in the county each year.  The Trust is unable to be involved with every case.  This is why we try to focus on those cases where we feel we can make a real and positive difference for Suffolk’s special habitats and species.

We also seek to maximise our efficiency by working in partnership with organisations such as Natural England so that we do not duplicate effort.

The information on these pages and the links to other sites detail which species and habitats are protected in Suffolk, how Local Authorities should take account of biodiversity in their decision making and what individuals can do if they have concerns over development in their area.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust has developed the following guidance on biodiveristy and the planning system for both Local Authority officers and the general public:

Guidance for Local Authority officers

Guidance for the general public

Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects

A number of nationally significant infrastructure projects are proposed for development either in Suffolk or off of the coast. These include:

Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station - more information on this project is available here.

East Anglia Offshore Wind Farm - the Development Consent Order (DCO) for Project ONE was granted by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in June 2014. Construction is now underway. More information on this process is available here.

Project THREE has also been granted a Development Consent Order by Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. More information is available here.

Work on develping applications for projects ONE NORTH and TWO has also begun. More information on these schemes is available here and here.

Galloper Offshore Wind Farm - a Development Consent Order has been granted for this project. More information is available here.


Suffolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan - Preferred Options Draft (October 2017)

We are aware of the consultation on the Suffolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan and are in the process of considering the document and putting together our comments. In particular, we will be focusing on the potential impacts of the proposed policies and site allocations on wildlife and sites designated for their nature conservation value. More information on the Local Plan is available on the Suffolk County Council website.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk Local Plan Consultation (August 2017)

We have responded to the Babergh and Mid Suffolk Local Plan consultation, commenting on both the emerging Local Plan policies and site allocations. In particular we have raised concerns about the lack of robust ecological information as part of the evidence base. At this stage the Local Plan is an early version and the development policies and sites for allocation are still emerging. It is therefore at this stage that the councils need to address this lack of ecological evidence to ensure that the final plan is based on up to date evidence, gives full weight to all material planning considerations (including the ecological impacts of development), and is therefore compliant with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). We will continue to engage with the councils on their emerging plan and will respond accordingly to forthcoming consultations.

Comments on the document will be available to view on the council's website (here) once they have been processed.

SnOasis Reserved Matters Planning Application (application reference 4494/16)

Mid Suffolk District Council are currently considering the Reserved Matters Application for the proposed ski centre (known as SnOasis) at Great Blakenham. We are currently objecting to the applicaiton due to insufficient demonstration that the proposed development will not have a significant impact on biodiversity. Further details on the application can be found on the Mid Suffolk DC website here.

Proposed Development West of Brandon (application reference DC/15/1072/OUT)

Along with Norfolk Wildlife Trust; the RSPB and Brandon Community Union, we have objected to the planning application for the proposed development of up to 1,650 new houses and a relief road on land west of Brandon. We consider that the proposal would result in significant harm to sites of European nature conservation importance, as well as the loss of UK and Suffolk Priority Habitats such as wet woodland. A copy of our letter of objection can be viewed here and further details can be found on the Council's website here by entering the reference number DC/15/1072/OUT.

Recommended Approach for Bats and Small Wind Turbines in Suffolk

Guidance has been issued by the Suffolk Biodiversity Partnership in relation to bats and the development of small wind turbines (5-250kw). This follows consultation with Local Authority planning officers and Natural England. The guidance (updated in March 2013) can be viewed here