Biodiversity and Geodiversity
The Borough Council will seek to achieve net gains for nature and proactively seek habitat creation as part of new development proposals. It will protect and enhance biodiversity, ecological networks and geological conservation interests throughout the Borough and beyond its boundaries, by supporting proposals which:
A) protect, extend or strengthen the Borough’s most ecologically sensitive areas, including the River Wreake Valley;
B) contribute to the provision of coherent wildlife networks;
C) create new habitat;
D) re-naturalise rivers and streams wherever possible through the removal of hard engineered structures such as reinforced banks, weirs and culverts;
E) promote the preservation, restoration and re-creation of priority habitats as listed in the UK Priority Habitat Species List and Leicestershire Local Biodiversity Action Plan; and
F) promote the use of fencing which incorporates holes for wildlife. Provided they do not harm:
G) existing, potential or proposed internationally important sites, such as Rutland Water Special Protection Area/Ramsar either individually or cumulatively in association with other plans or projects;
H) nationally important sites;
I) Local Wildlife Sites (including candidate and potential), Local Geological Sites, including ancient woodlands, ancient and veteran trees, hedgerows and existing corridors such as disused railways, that allow movement of wildlife between sites;
J) river corridors;
K) biodiversity and geo-diversity designations identified in a Neighbourhood Plan; and
L) priority habitats & species identified in the UK Priority Habitat Species List and Local Biodiversity Action Plans and the Melton Biodiversity and Geodiversity Study, unless it can be demonstrated that there is no alternative site available and there are clear and convincing benefits of the development that clearly outweigh the nature conservation or scientific interest of the site. In this case, adequate mitigation measures or, exceptionally, compensatory measures will be required at a level equivalent to the biodiversity value of the habitat lost. Such proposals must be accompanied by ecological surveys and an assessment of the impacts on biodiversity and geodiversity.
Proposals for allocated sites should be informed by the site survey results and the recommendations for mitigation and enhancement in the Biodiversity and Geo-diversity Study.
The Borough Council will support the need for the appropriate management and maintenance of existing and created habitats through the use of planning conditions, planning obligations and management agreement.