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:
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. More information on this process is available here. Work on develping applications for projects THREE and FOUR has also begun. More information on these is available here and here.
Galloper Offshore Wind Farm - a Development Consent Order has been granted for this project. More information is available here.
Snape Maltings’ Master Plan Proposals
We are aware of Snape Maltings’ Master Plan proposals which includes new car parking provision on land to the north of the River Alde, which adjoins our Snape Marshes reserve. Given the ecologically sensitive nature of the area, we are engaging with Snape Maltings on the details of the Master Plan. This is in order to ensure that any proposed scheme delivers maximum net gain for wildlife, through habitat enhancements.
We are awaiting the results of detailed ecological surveys of the area, which will help inform our position on the Master Plan as the design and plans for the scheme are taken forward. We do not have sufficient information at this stage to have a formal opinion, but we would not support any scheme which would be detrimental to wildlife. We will continue to engage with Snape Maltings as they progress their Master Plan proposals.
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 awaiting the publication of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) documents for the application and will be making a full response in due course. We have submitted an initial objection to the application due to the lack of EIA.
Proposed Community Centre at Aspal Park, Beck Row (application reference PL\0297\15)
Suffolk County Council are determining an application for a new community centre at Aspal Park in Beck Row, details of the application can be found on the Council's website here. A copy of our response to the application can be viewed here.
Proposed caravan and campsite at West Stow Country Park (application reference DC/15/1899/FUL)
Following on from the withdrawal of the previous planning application, St Edmundsbury BC have now made a new application (reference DC/15/1899/FUL) for a reduced sized caravan and campsite at West Stow Country Park.
More details about the proposal can be found on the Council's website here by entering the reference number DC/15/1899/FUL. If you would like to comment please contact St Edmundsbury Borough Council Planning Department by 20th October 2015.
A copy of our response to this application is available here.
A copy of our objection to the previous planning application can be viewed 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