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Nature Conservation and Development

Nature Conservation and Development

Any type of development activity, whoever is responsible for it, has the potential for positive or negative impacts on the natural environment. Because of this there is a need to look carefully at all such activity, assess its impact and to seek to influence development in such a way as to achieve an acceptable balance between it and nature conservation interests.

Environmental Assessment

Policy Fourteen
The City Council will ensure that where appropriate a full assessment of all impacts upon the City's nature conservation resource is carried out at the earliest possible stage of both its own and others' development proposals.

Policy Fifteen
The Council will require a statutory Environmental Impact Assessment wherever considered appropriate within the terms of existing legislation.

Nature Conservation in the Development Process
There will always be times when the development process will, or will appear to, run counter to the interests of nature conservation, particularly when securing economic or other benefits for the City. Damage can sometimes be limited and new resources created.

Policy Sixteen
Where development damaging to the City's nature conservation resource is unavoidable, the City Council will, where possible, take steps to ensure that negative impacts on existing features are minimised and opportunities for positive nature conservation impacts are maximised.

Land and Property Disposal
The City Council will, where it intends to dispose of its interest in land or property, take steps to ensure that any known nature conservation interests are reasonably protected and provided for as a condition of that disposal.

Statutory Undertakers and Public Utilities
Most of the utilities are statutory undertakers with legal powers to carry out work in connection with their businesses. The City Council has no rights of involvement beyond that of being notified of works, in its capacity either as landowner or highways authority. Most statutory undertakers are, however, charged with at least a basic duty of care in respect of the protection, and in some cases the promotion, of environmental or nature conservation interests.

Policy Eighteen
The City Council will continue to liaise and seek co-operation with a range of statutory undertakers, with a view to ensuring good practice in relation to works affecting the City's nature conservation resource. It will in particular consider seeking agreement on the following broad principles:

  • consideration of nature conservation issues at the earliest stages of all works;
  • full assessment of the negative and potentially positive impact of proposed works on the nature conservation resource;
  • the adoption of a code of good practice to govern works on the ground, including adequate on-site supervision;
  • appropriate reinstatement on completion of works;
  • the need for a penalty clause system where they do not exist at present.