Highland Council adopts revised Biodiversity Planning Guidance

Highland Council adopts revised Biodiversity Planning Guidance

Highland Council has adopted new non-statutory planning guidance on biodiversity.

The revised Biodiversity Planning Guidance (BPG) was adopted by the council’s economy and infrastructure committee following a 12-week public consultation.

It aims to provide clarity and certainty for applicants and agents and sets out what supporting information is required to demonstrate the conservation, restoration, and enhancement of biodiversity as required by National Planning Framework 4.

Chair of Highland Council’s economy and infrastructure committee, Councillor Ken Gowans, said: “This guidance will enable Highland Council’s planners to take a consistent, fair, transparent, proportionate, and balanced approach to enabling biodiversity to be conserved, restored, and enhanced.

“The twin climate and nature crises are interlinked and reinforcing; a decline in biodiversity will exacerbate the climate crisis, and a changing climate will accelerate the rate of biodiversity loss.

“Implementing the Biodiversity Planning Guidance to secure positive effects for biodiversity (as required by the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 and policies of NPF4) the Council will make a significant and meaningful contribution to Net Zero and nature restoration targets and align with the local authority’s declaration of a climate and ecological emergency back in 2019.”

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