The planning process has an important part to play in safeguarding the future of our wildlife and the environments they inhabit. Inappropriate development can have a significant impact on wildlife, while sympathetic planning can help protect, enhance and even create new habitats, delivering valuable biodiversity enhancements.
Norfolk Wildlife Trust champions wildlife through the planning system by working to ensure that wildlife issues are taken into account both in strategic plans, where the policies that apply to all development are set, and in individual planning applications.
We are a non-statutory consultee for planning applications and although Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) do not have an obligation to consult NWT we are routinely consulted on applications that may affect important wildlife sites. Our planning role is about promoting positive outcomes as well as fighting potentially harmful proposals.
We do not have the resources to respond to every application we are consulted on, and often have to prioritise responses to planning applications where we feel we can make the greatest difference for Norfolk’s special habitats and species. Besides commenting on applications that potentially affect NWT reserves and County Wildlife Sites (CWS) we may also comment with regard to other developments. This may include applications for major developments and sites that are drawn to our attention by NWT members, or members of the public, where it appears that these sites have a high local wildlife interest.
We also seek to maximise our efficiency by working in partnership with other wildlife organisations such as Natural England and the RSPB so that we do not duplicate effort.