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BIODIVERSITY TRIGGER LIST FOR PLANNING DECISIONS IN GREATER MANCHESTER

VIEWS: 8 PAGES: 22

									BIODIVERSITY TRIGGER LIST FOR PLANNING DECISIONS IN SALFORD

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BIODIVERSITY TRIGGER LIST FOR PLANNING DECISIONS IN SALFORD

INTRODUCTION
This document has been designed to assist development control officers when dealing with biodiversity issues associated with planning applications in Salford. It is designed to provide basic information on the kind of issues that may need to be addressed by asking a series of questions that can generally be answered by looking at proposal maps, OS maps or, in a few circumstance, from a site visit. It is extremely unlikely that all of the issues outlined in this document will occur at any one site. Each question is followed by a series of bullet points that link to information boxes. Each box contains details on the protection, distribution, planning requirement, action to be taken together with any additional notes. Protection Details of the protection given to a species or site through European and UK legislation. For species - the likely distribution of a species in Salford and brief details on the kind of habitats it occurs in. This information should enable the officer to judge* whether the species is likely to be an issue on a particular application site. For each type of protected site - the number of sites and their distribution across Salford. Planning Requirement Details of the information that may be required to be submitted prior to the planning application being determined. Details of who should be consulted and when in relation to biodiversity issues. What action is required after the information detailed in the planning requirement section has been received. Any additional information that is not covered above.

Distribution

Action

Note

Some of the information boxes also contain links to references, contacts, or a more detailed explanation of a particular point. In addition, there are two links to photographs of invasive species, Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed. Pictures of all of the species listed have not been provided to reduce the size of the document but pictures of most of them can be found at the following website: http://www.arkive.org/species/ARK/ The links in the document work like those on a website, clicking on a link will take you to a new “page”. Clicking on the “back” icon will return you to your previous place. *While this document provides basic information, if you are unsure of the answers to these questions or if you need further advice, please contact the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit (GMEU) or Marion Raines and Liz Dixon (Spatial Planning, Salford City Council).

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BIODIVERSITY TRIGGER LIST FOR PLANNING DECISIONS IN SALFORD
1) Is the proposal on or adjacent to a designated site?     2) European Sites SSSIs SBI LNRs

Do the proposals affect any wildlife corridor/green corridor or other seminatural habitat/open space? Does the application involve the removal of any vegetation?      Bats Badgers Reptiles Habitats & Species of Principal Importance in England Nesting Birds - General

3)

Do the proposals involve any of the following: Work within the roof space of any building? Demolition of any building? Conversion of any building e.g. barn or mill conversions? Alterations or works to cellars, bridges, culverts, large stonewalls, caves or mines?     Bats Barn Owls Black Redstarts Nesting Birds – general

4)

Are the proposals on a quarry, industrial wasteland or Brownfield site?       Badgers Reptiles Little Ringed Plover Black Redstart Barn owls Nesting birds - General

5)

Are the proposals in or adjacent to any river, stream, ditch or other large water body? Impacts may include direct loss, surface water run-off, discharge of contaminants and/or increased public pressure.       Otter Bats Water voles Black Redstart Nesting Birds - general Invasive Species

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6)

Are the proposals directly adjacent to or could they affect a canal? Impacts may include de-watering, abstraction, works affecting the integrity of the banks, shading, discharges of contaminants, surface water run-off and/or increased public access.  Floating water plantain  White-clawed crayfish  Water vole  Black Redstart  Invasive species  European Sites  SSSI  SBI Are the proposals within 250m of a pond or small reservoir (mill lodge)? This does not include ornamental ponds.    Great crested newts Water voles Nesting Birds - general

7)

8)

Do the proposals include the felling of any trees and/or scrub or work to any trees including TPO trees?   Bats Nesting Birds - general

9)

Do the proposals directly affect or are they on or adjacent to any hedgerow and/or woodland? Impacts may include loss of trees and scrub, lighting, litter, noise and/or increased public access.    Bats Badger Nesting Birds - General

10)

Are there any invasive species on the proposed site?  Invasive Species

If you are unsure of the answers to these questions or if you need further advice, please contact the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit (GMEU) and Marion Raines. In terms of potential impacts by development on biodiversity features, in the first instance the approach should be to avoid any impact. However, in some cases this may not be possible and “mitigation” measures designed to reduce the degree of impact will be necessary. However, although it may be possible to mitigate to some extent, it should not be assumed that the proposal is acceptable.

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GREAT CRESTED NEWT Protection: European Protected Species - Full at all times under Schedule 2 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994. Distribution: Great Crested Newts are found in ponds and small reservoirs (mill lodges) throughout Salford. GMEU hold records of known great crested newt locations, although this data is not comprehensive. Planning requirement: Any application within 250m of a pond or lodge should include a survey for great crested newts. Such a survey should be carried out by a surveyor licensed by Natural England (successor to English Nature) and to the standards laid out in English Nature’s Mitigation Guidelines. Surveys should be submitted with applications and should include any necessary mitigation works to demonstrate that the favourable conservation status of the newts can be maintained. Action: Consult Natural England and GMEU on results of survey. If it is agreed that favourable conservation status of newts can be maintained, attach appropriate conditions and/or planning agreement. Consider other the two tests under Regulations when determining application. All three tests must be met before planning permission can be granted. Note: Since the absence of great crested newts can be very difficult to prove conclusively, even if newts are not found it may be necessary to attach some conditions to any permission, e.g. the need for resurvey if the development does not take place within a certain time frame. WATER VOLE Protection: Currently the place of shelter or protection of water voles is protected under Schedule 9(4) of the Wildlife & Countryside Act. It is also an offence to disturb water voles when using such a place. It is likely that water voles will be given full protection soon. Distribution: Water voles are likely to occur throughout Salford but records are concentrated on the mosslands. They can occur in most water bodies including ponds, lodges, canals, ditches, streams and rivers. GMEU and the Environment Agency hold records of known water vole locations, although this data is not comprehensive. Planning Requirement: Any application that is likely to affect, either directly or indirectly, any waterbody should include a water vole survey. Such a survey should be carried out by an appropriately experienced ecologist and to standards laid out in the Water Vole Conservation Handbook. Surveys should be submitted with applications and should include any necessary mitigation works. Action: Consult Natural England and GMEU on results of survey. If mitigation can be agreed, attach appropriate conditions and/or planning agreement. Note: It may also be necessary to consult the Environment Agency depending on the location of the application.

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FLOATING WATER PLANTAIN (LURONIUM NATANS) Protection: European Protected Species - It is protected under Schedule 4 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations 1994. Distribution: This plant species occurs throughout the canal system in Greater Manchester. In Salford, it is found in the Bridgewater Canal, through Barton and Patricoft. Planning Requirement: Any proposals that may affect the habitat of this species or the species itself should either include an up to date survey, undertaken by an appropriately licensed ecologist together with any necessary mitigation or, since it is difficult to survey for this species, be designed on the assumption that the plant is present in the canal and include appropriate mitigation. Surveys and mitigation reports should demonstrate that the favourable conservation status of the plant can be maintained and be submitted before the application is determined. Action: Consult Natural England and GMEU on results of survey. If the mitigation can be agreed, attach appropriate conditions and/or planning agreement. Consider the other two tests under the Regulations when determining the application.

WHITE-CLAWED CRAYFISH Protection: Limited protection under the Habitats Directive and on Schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act. Distribution: The distribution of this species is largely unknown across Greater Manchester. It is found in the Rochdale Canal and Huddersfield Narrow Canal. It is possible that it may be present in the Bridgewater canal and other waterbodies, but is only likely to be found by specialist surveys. Planning Requirement: Where a proposal will involve de-watering of a canal or works to canal banks or could result in pollution entering the canal, surveys should be undertaken by an appropriately licensed ecologist and to the standards laid out in Monitoring the White Clawed Crayfish. Surveys and any necessary mitigation should be submitted before the application is determined. Action: Consult Natural England and GMEU on results of survey. If the mitigation can be agreed, attach appropriate conditions and/or planning agreement.

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INVASIVE SPECIES – JAPANESE KNOTWEED & GIANT HOGWEED Legislation: It is an offence under the Wildlife & Countryside Act to plant or cause these species to grow in the wild. Under the Environmental Protection Act Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed are classed as “controlled waste” and as such must be disposed of at a licensed landfill site according to the EPA (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991. Distribution: Japanese Knotweed is widespread across Salford. It frequently occurs by watercourses but is also found in many “urban” sites such as Brownfield sites. Giant Hogweed is less common and is more restricted to watercourses, although it does occur in other locations notably road verges and railway embankments or where it has escaped from gardens. Planning Requirement: If either species is identified on site, attach a condition for the production of a method statement for their control. Such a statement should be produced before any development commences on site and should follow current guidelines from the Environment Agency. Action: Consult GMEU on method statement. Note: Giant Hogweed has sap that reacts in sunlight causing skin to painfully burn and blister. The applicants will also need permission from the Environment Agency before using herbicide near water.

OTTER Protection: European Protected Species - Full at all times under Schedule 2 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994. Distribution: There are currently confirmed records of otter on the River Bollin in Trafford and the River Goyt in Stockport, with unconfirmed reports in Wigan. Since the national otter population is currently recovering, new locations may be discovered over time and in the future otters may return to Salford. Otters are m ainly found on rivers, but also use canals,
marshes, small streams, ditches, ponds and lakes. They require rivers with clean water with an abundant, varied supply of food and plenty of bankside vegetation offering secluded sites for their holts.

Planning Requirement: If a proposal is likely to impact on a major river or its tributaries, an assessment of its suitability for otters should be undertaken by an appropriately experienced ecologist. If the watercourse is considered suitable, a full otter survey should be undertaken to standards laid out by the national otter survey. Surveys should be submitted with applications and should include any necessary mitigation works to demonstrate that the favourable conservation status of the otters can be maintained. Action: Consult Natural England and GMEU on results of the assessment and any surveys. If otters are found and any necessary mitigation can be agreed, attach appropriate conditions and/or planning agreement. Consider the other two tests under the Regulations when determining the application. Note: It may also be necessary to consult the Environment Agency.
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BATS Protection: All species of bats are European Protected Species with full protection at all times under Schedule 2 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994. Bat roosts are also protected, even when unoccupied. Distribution: Bats are found across Salford and roost in a variety of buildings and structures. These include:  Trees with hollows, cracks and cavities  Culverts  Chimneys  Stone or/brick built structures.  Bridges  Mines and caves  Underground structures such as cellars The only buildings that are unlikely to support bats are:  Prefabricated buildings with steel or sheet materials such as modern industrial warehouses or agricultural buildings.  Flat roof structures with no roof voids or soffit boards. All other buildings are likely to require a bat survey. Records of known bat roosts are the South Lancashire Bat Group and the Greater Manchester Bat Group. Planning Requirement: Any application affecting a building(s), structure(s), or tree(s) that are likely to be suitable for bats should include a bat survey undertaken by an appropriately licensed ecologist and to standards laid out in English Nature’s Bat Mitigation Guidelines. Surveys should be submitted with applications and should include any necessary mitigation works to demonstrate that the favourable conservation status of the bats can be maintained. Where a proposal will affect the foraging habitat of an important roost site but not the roost itself, appropriate mitigation will also be necessary. It may also be necessary to include a lighting strategy within an application to limit the impact of lighting on bat activity. Action: Consult GMEU on results of survey and if bats are found Natural England should also be consulted. If it is agreed that favourable conservation status of the bats can be maintained, attach appropriate conditions and/or planning agreement. Consider the other two tests under Regulations when determining application. Note: Since the absence of bats can be very difficult to prove conclusively and since bats move roost sites on a regular basis, even if bats are not found it may be necessary to attached conditions to any permission, e.g. the need to resurvey immediately prior to demolition.

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NESTING BIRDS - GENERAL Protection: Under the Wildlife & Countryside Act all wild birds are protected when they are nesting. The protection also applies to their eggs and nests. Distribution: Wild nesting birds occur across Salford. Nesting birds are likely to be found in trees, hedgerows, scrub, or grassland. In addition, they may also use barns, mill buildings or houses. Some birds have more specialised nesting habits for example sand martins nest in riverbanks or cliff faces. The nesting season is generally taken to be March to July inclusive in Salford, although some species such as grey heron start nesting in February, while in warm summers the season for some birds may be extended into August. Planning Requirement/Action: Attach a condition to ensure no works take place during the bird-breeding season (generally March to July inclusive). For sand martins more detailed mitigation may be necessary, contact GMEU for advice. Note: Some birds are given full protection under the Act at all times. In Salford the following birds fall in to this category and may be affected by planning proposals: Barn Owl; Black Redstart; Little Ringed Plover; and Kingfisher. Other schedule 1 birds that occur include Bittern, Peregrine Falcon, Black Necked-Grebe, Hobby, Quail, Whooper Swan, Merlin and Green Sandpiper. These birds are only likely to be affected by planning proposals on an occasional basis. In these cases, seek advice from GMEU.

BARN OWL Protection: Barn owls are fully protected at all times under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act. Distribution: There are believed to be approximately 10 pairs of nesting barn owls in Greater Manchester, the majority of which occur on the mossland. Outside of the breeding season birds can be found away from their breeding sites. The County Bird Recorder, Judith Smith, holds data on the location of known barn owl sites. Barn owls prefer sheltered, dry, undisturbed buildings and each pair has more than one breeding and roost site within its territory. Equally important to their survival is the amount of surrounding feeding habitat, including open country, derelict industrial land, along
field edges, riverbanks golf courses and roadside verges.

Planning Requirement: Any application for a barn conversion or conversion of other suitable buildings should include a barn owl survey. Such a survey should be undertaken by an appropriately licensed ecologist and at an appropriate time of year. Any proposals that affect the feeding territory of owls should also include a survey. If barn owls are found on site appropriate mitigation works should also be submitted before the application is determined. Action: Consult GMEU on the results of survey. If barn owls are found Natural England should also be consulted. If the survey and the mitigation can be agreed, attach appropriate conditions and/or planning agreement. 9 7.2.07

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BLACK REDSTART Protection: Black Redstarts are fully protected at all times under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act. Distribution: Black Redstarts occur on urban Brownfield sites near open water. They prefer sites which are sparsely vegetated with stony ground and that have vertical structures such as building gantries. They also prefer sites that have a variety of ledges or holes for nesting sites. In Greater Manchester they are found mostly within Manchester City Centre but are also known to occur in Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside. Birds have also been recorded in Wigan, Bolton and Stockport. Since they can be difficult to detect, there is a good probability that the birds are present in Salford, where suitable habitat exists. The County Bird Recorder, Judith Smith, holds data on the location of known black redstart sites. Planning Requirement: Any proposal on a suitable black redstart site should include a survey undertaken to the standards laid out by the Black Redstart Action Plan Working Group. Such a survey should include any appropriate mitigation and be received before the application is determined. Action: Consult GMEU on results of survey. If the survey and the mitigation can be agreed, attach appropriate conditions and/or planning agreement.

KINGFISHER Protection: Kingfishers are fully protected at all times under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act. Distribution: Kingfishers may occur along any suitable river, stream or canal across Salford. They nest in holes in riverbanks. The County Bird Recorder, Judith Smith, holds data on the location of known kingfishers. Planning Requirement: For any proposal that may impact on riverbanks, canal banks or riverine habitat surveys for kingfishers should be included. Such a survey should be undertaken by an appropriately experienced ecologist and at a suitable time of year (April-July inclusive). Surveys and any necessary mitigation should be received before the application is determined. Action: Consult GMEU on the results of survey and if the birds are found Natural England should also be consulted. If the survey and the mitigation can be agreed, attach appropriate conditions and/or planning agreement.

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LITTLE RINGED PLOVER Protection: Little Ringed Plover are fully protected at all times under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act. Distribution: Little Ringed Plover naturally nest on shingle banks near freshwater. They have subsequently adapted to nest in man-made habitats such as gravel pits and industrial wasteland. They are an opportunistic breeder so may occur at any suitable site where sparse vegetation and gravely ground occurs. The County Bird Recorder, Judith Smith, holds data on the location of known Little Ringed Plovers. Planning Requirement/Action: On suitable sites where there is nesting or if it is known to occur, attach a condition for surveys to be undertaken prior to work commencing if during the bird breeding season (March to July inclusive). At other suitable sites an informative should also be placed on any permission that if these birds are found nesting on sites all work must stop until after the birds have finished nesting.

REPTILES – GRASS SNAKES, ADDERS, SLOW WORMS & COMMON LIZARDS Protection: Limited protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (protected against intentional killing, injury or sale). Distribution: There are occasional records of reptiles across Greater Manchester. They may be found on a variety of sites including: heathland, moorland, woodlands, disused allotments, suburban wastelands, railway embankments, road verges, golf courses, disused quarries, wild gardens and stone walls. In addition, grass snakes favour areas associated with water. Bolton Museum holds records of known reptile locations but this data is not comprehensive. Planning Requirement: Where there is a reasonable expectation that reptiles are likely to be present (such as a record from a reputable source) or an existing record, surveys for these species should be undertaken. Such surveys should be undertaken by an appropriately experienced ecologist and to standards laid out by Froglife. Surveys and any necessary mitigation should be submitted prior to the application being determined. Action: Consult GMEU on the results of survey. If the survey and the mitigation can be agreed, attach appropriate conditions and/or planning agreement. Note: Further guidelines on reptiles and development are available from Natural England.

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BADGERS Protection: Badgers and their setts are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. While this protection largely relates to welfare issues, badgers are still considered a protected species and are therefore a material consideration when determining planning applications. Distribution: Badgers occur throughout Salford. Badger setts tend to occur in areas where there is cover such as woodlands or scrub but they are also found in disused quarries, railway embankments or open grassland. They are not restricted to rural areas and often use gardens as a part of their foraging habitat. GMEU hold records of known badger locations, although this data is not comprehensive. Local badger groups also hold such information. Planning Requirement: On suitable sites, or in areas where there is a known badger population, surveys for the presence of badgers should be undertaken. Surveys should be undertaken by an experienced badger consultant at an appropriate time of year. Surveys should include an area of at least 30m outside of the application site. For some sites or proposals it may be necessary to undertaken more detail survey work such as bait marking. This type of survey should be undertaken using standard methodology. Surveys and any necessary mitigation should be submitted prior to the application being determined. Mitigation should include, where appropriate, protection of setts and protection of foraging/access routes across sites. Action: Consult Natural England and GMEU on results of the survey. If the mitigation can be agreed, attach appropriate conditions and/or planning agreement. Note: A licence may also be required from Natural England if the proposals include works within 30m of a badger sett. Licences are generally not issued for works between the beginning of December and the end of June (see Badgers and Development for more information).

Note: Details of the locations of badgers setts should not be placed on the public record, due the persecution the species suffers. Wherever possible reference in public documents should refer to “a species specially protected by law” or a “protected species”.
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HABITATS & SPECIES OF PRINCIPAL IMPORTANCE IN ENGLAND Protection: Under Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is obliged to list those habitats and species considered to be of principal importance for the conservation of biological diversity in England. The current list was published in 2002 and will be kept under review. The full list of Habitats and Species is published by Defra (PB 7850). These species and habitats are sometimes referred to as Section 41 Species and Habitats (S41). (They may also be referred to as Section 74 Species and Habitats after the section in the Countryside & Rights of Way Act, where they were first introduced). Some of these habitats and species may also be protected by other legislation. Distribution: Not all of the habitats and species listed under Section 41 occur in Greater Manchester. Those habitats that may occur in Salford are listed below, with those known to occur in bold        Ancient and/or species rich hedgerows Lowland heath Cereal field margins Eutrophic Standing waters Fens Lowland dry acid grassland Lowland meadows       Lowland wood-pasture and parkland Mesotrophic standing waters Reedbeds Lowland raised bog Lowland mixed deciduous woodland Wet woodland

Those species that are may occur in Salford are listed below with confirmed species in bold:           Great Crested Newt Skylark Bullfinch Linnet Reed bunting Corn bunting Spotted flycatcher Tree sparrow Grey partridge Song thrush          Water Vole Brown hare All species of bat Otter White-clawed crayfish Amara famelica – a ground beetle Tortula freibergii – Freiberg’s screw-moss Floating water plantain Grasswrack pondweed

Further details of the distribution of these species can be found in the Greater Manchester Biodiversity Action Plan (http://www.gmbp.org.uk/). Planning Requirement: Planning Policy Statement on Biodiversity and Geological Conservation (PPS9) states that planning authorities should ensure that Section 41 (S74) species are protected from the adverse effects of development, where appropriate, by using planning conditions and obligations. It also states that planning authorities should refuse permission where harm to the species or their habitat would

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result unless the need for, and benefits of, the development clearly out weigh that harm. In relation to Section 41 habitats the statement says that local authorities should protect networks of natural habitats from development, and where possible, strength or integrated them within development. Planning applications that may affect such species or habitats should therefore include appropriate surveys, undertaken by an appropriately experienced ecologist and at the correct time of year. These surveys should be submitted with the application together with any necessary mitigation measures. Action: Consult GMEU on the results of the survey and proposed mitigation. The application should be refused if the harm to the species or their habitat is not clearly outweighed by the need for, and the benefits of the development. If the development will result in the isolation or fragmentation of a Section 41 habitat the application should be refused unless there is appropriate mitigation / compensation include. If the mitigation can be agreed, attach appropriate conditions and/or planning agreement.

Note: The Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 states that a local authority must, in exercising its functions, have regard, so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions, to the purpose of conserving biodiversity. Section 74 of the Countryside & Rights of Way Act has been superseded by Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. However, PPS9 published before the latter act, refers to the older legislation.

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EUROPEAN SITES – SPAs & cSACs Protection: Both Special Protection Areas of Birds (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are classed as European sites. SPAs are classified under the Birds Directive while SACs are designated under the Habitats Directive. Protection of these sites in Britain is given through the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994. Distribution: There are currently no European sites within Salford. However, Bedford & Astley Mosses in Wigan has been designated as a part of the Manchester Mosses SAC. Development within Salford could potentially affect this SAC. Planning Requirement: Under Regulation 48(1) of the Habitats Regulations any plan or project that may affect a European Site requires an appropriate assessment to be undertaken where the plan or project: a. Either alone or in combination with other plans or projects would be likely to have a significant effect on a European Site, and b. is not directly connected with the management of the site for nature conservation. Such an appropriate assessment should be undertaken before any competent authority grants consent, permission or authorises the plan or project. Developments that would otherwise be permitted development have the same requirement. The appropriate assessment must be undertaken by a competent authority. Local authorities are included in the list of competent authorities under the legislation. The plan or project does not have to be located within the European Site to require an appropriate assessment; the proposal may be in a different local authority area for example. The developer or proposer of the plan is required to provide relevant information in order for the appropriate assessment to be made. Action: Where any proposal may have an affect on a European Site: 1. Undertake an appropriate assessment. 2. Consult Natural England on the proposal and have regard to their representations (a legal requirement). 3. Identify what the effects of the proposals are likely to be. 4. Decide whether the proposal would adversely affect the integrity of the site, in light of its conservation objectives. 5. Should an adverse effect be predicted, consider whether the proposals can be modified or whether conditions or restrictions could be imposed to avoid this. 6. Conclude whether, in light of any modifications, conditions or restrictions, the proposal would adversely affect the integrity of the site. If yes, refuse permission. If no, grant permission with appropriate conditions etc but notify Natural England before any permission or consent is granted. 7. Complete a record of the appropriate assessment and notify Natural England of its conclusions. This advice is a brief summary of the steps that need to be taken. More detailed guidance can be found in the series of Habitat Regulations Guidance Notes issued by Natural England.

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Note: Sites may be covered by more than one designation. A site may be both a SPA and an SAC, for example, if it qualifies under the differing criteria for both Directives. European Sites must be designated as a SSSI and may have other ecological value in addition to the reasons for the European designation. Therefore, any assessment of proposals that affect a European Site must also consider the impact on the SSSI. The requirements under Regulations 48(1) also apply to the reviews of existing planning permissions and other consents that are required under the Habitats Regulations.

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SSSIs Protection: Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are protected through the Wildlife & Countryside Act, as amended by the Countryside & Rights of Way Act. They may be designated for their geological value as well as their ecological value. Distribution: There are currently no SSSIs in Salford. However, it is understood that Natural England is considering the designation of a central part of Botany Bay Wood as a SSSI. The potential designation as a SSSI relates to a very large heronry within the middle of the wood. In addition, Astley and Bedford Moss SSSI lies within close proximity to the Salford boundary and development within Salford could potentially affect this site. Planning Requirement: Development proposals in or that are likely to affect SSSIs must be subject to special scrutiny. Applicants should be advised to consult Natural England directly prior to any planning application being submitted to the Council. Local authorities must consult Natural England once any such proposal has been submitted. Any proposal should include surveys relevant to the interest of the particular SSSI, an assessment of the likely impacts of the proposals and any mitigation measures. This information should be received prior to the application being determined. Action: After consultation with Natural England:  If the impact of the proposal can be mitigated and the mitigation has been agreed by Natural England, attach appropriate conditions and/or planning agreement to any permission. If proposals are likely to have an adverse affect, either directly or indirectly, on the SSSI and the reasons for the development do not clearly outweigh the nature conservation value of the site itself and the national policies to safeguard such site the application should be refused. Natural England should be informed of any decisions relating to the proposals.





Note: The Secretary of State will normally call-in proposals that are likely to have a significant effect on a SSSI. Sites may be covered by more than one designation. A SSSI may also be a European Site (SPA and/or SAC), a LNR or an SBI. The boundaries of these designations may not necessarily be the same and the reasons for designation may differ.

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SBIs Protection: Sites of Biological Importance (SBIs) are protected through policies in Unitary Development Plans (UDPs) and are recognised by central government as an important ecological resource (PPS9). Distribution: There are currently 33 SBIs within Salford and their locations are shown on the UDP proposals map, although some SBIs have been identified subsequently to the production of the UDP and there is a need to check the SBI Register. The Register of sites is maintained by GMEU on behalf of the City Council. SBIs are assigned one of three grades: Grade A – of at least county importance Grade B – of district importance Grade C – of more than local importance Planning Requirement: Any proposal that may affect a SBI, either directly or indirectly should be accompanied by surveys relevant to the interest of the particular SBI, an assessment of the likely impacts of the proposals and any proposed mitigation measures. This information should be received prior to the application being determined. The level of mitigation required and the weight that should given to the designation will be dependent on the grade of a particular site, the type of habitats and species it supports and the nature/extent of the development impact. GMEU should be consulted on any proposal affecting an SBI. GMEU would normally expect to see a buffer zone of a minimum of 10 metres between any development and an SBI. In some instances a greater buffer zone may be required, depending on the topography of the site and the type of proposal. Action: If the impact of the proposal can be mitigated and the mitigation has been agreed by GMEU, attach appropriate conditions and/or planning agreement to any permission. If the proposals are likely to have an adverse affect, either directly or indirectly, on the SBI that cannot be mitigated and the reasons for the development do not clearly outweigh the nature conservation value of the site itself, and the UDP policies that safeguard such sites, the application should be refused. Note: SBIs and SSSIs may overlap. An SBI may, for example include additional areas to a SSSI. Therefore, any assessment of proposals that affect a SSSI should also consider the impact on the SBI.

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LNRs Protection: Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) are designated under the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act 1949. They are declared by local authorities after consultation with Natural England. They are also protected through policies in Unitary Development Plans (UDPs). They may be designated for their geological value as well as their ecological value. Distribution: There are currently five LNRs in Salford. These are:      Blackleach Country Park Clifton Country Park The Cliff/Kersal Dale Worsley Woods Kersal Moor

Planning Requirement: Any proposal that may affect a LNR, either directly or indirectly, should be accompanied by surveys relevant to the interest of the particular LNR, an assessment of the likely impacts of the proposals and any proposed mitigation measures. This information should be received prior to the application being determined. The level of mitigation required will be dependent on the type of habitats and species it supports. Action: Consult Natural England and GMEU. If the impact of the proposal can be mitigated and the mitigation has been agreed by the above organisations, attach appropriate conditions and/or planning agreement to any permission. If the proposals are likely to have an adverse affect, either directly or indirectly, on the LNR that cannot be mitigated and the reasons for the development do not clearly outweigh the nature conservation value of the site itself, and the UDP policies that safeguard such sites, the application should be refused. Note: In most cases LNRs will include all or parts of one or more SBIs.

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EUROPEAN PROTECTED SPECIES If a European protected species is found on site, then under the Habitats Directive and the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 which enacts the Directive into the UK, a licence is required from DEFRA to derogate the terms of this legislation. Before a licence can be granted three tests must be satisfied. These are: i) That the development is “in the interest of public health and public safety, or for other imperative reasons of overriding public interest, including those of a social or economic nature and beneficial consequence of primary importance for the environment”; That there is “no satisfactory alternative”; That the derogation is “not detrimental to the maintenance of the populations of the species concerned at a favourable conservation status in their natural range”.

ii) iii)

In considering planning applications that may affect European Protected Species, Local Planning Authorities are bound by Regulation 3(4) of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations to have regard to the Habitats Directive when exercising their function. Defra Circular 2/2002 gives guidance to local authorities on how these issues should be considered. All three tests must be satisfied before planning permission is granted on a site. PPS9 and its accompanying documents also provide advice on how local authorities should deal with European Protected species. From August 2007, Local Planning Authorities will be required to submit a detailed statement on the first two tests with any licence application for European Protected Species. FURTHER INFORMATION Lists of ecological consultants are held by the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit. These lists should not be regraded as a recommendation for any particular consultancy. Great Crested Newt Mitigation Guidelines – English Nature (2001). Available from Natural England’s Website (www.english-nature.gov.uk) Water Vole Conservation Handbook (2nd Edition) – Rob Strachan and Tom Moorhouse (2006). Published by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. Monitoring the White-Clawed Crayfish – Peay S (2003) Conserving Natura 2000 Rivers. Monitoring Series No 1, English Nature, Peterborough. (www.english-nature.org.uk/LIFEinUKRivers/publications/crayfish_monitoring.pdf ) New Guidance for Local Authorities on European Protected Species and Changes in Licensing Procedures – Defra Circular 2/2002. HSMO. Otter Survey of England 1991-1994. A report on the decline and recovery of the otter in England and its distribution, status and conservation 1991-1994. – Strachan, R and Jefferies, D.J. (1996). The Vincent Wildlife Trust, London.
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Bat Mitigation Guidelines – English Nature (2004). Available from Natural England’s Website (www.english-nature.gov.uk) Black Redstart Site Survey Techniques – www.blackredstarts.org.uk The use of marked bait in studies of the territorial organization of the European Badger (Meles meles) – Delanay et al (2000) Mammal Review volume 30, 73-87. Mammal Society. Badgers and Development – English Nature (2002). Available from Natural England’s Website (www.english-nature.gov.uk) Reptile Survey . An introduction to planning, conducting and interpreting surveys for snake and lizard conservation - Froglife Advice Sheet 10. (Available from http://www.froglife.org/) Reptiles: Guidelines for Developers – English Nature 2004. Available from Natural England’s Website (www.english-nature.gov.uk) Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000 Section 74: List of habitats and species of principal importance in England – DEFRA 2002 (http://www.defra.gov.uk/)

CONTACTS Greater Manchester Ecology Unit Natural England (Cheshire to Lancashire) Environment Agency Marion Raines (Salford City Council) Liz Dixon Judith Smith, County Bird Recorder Bolton Museum 0161 3719171 01642 820342 01925 540000 0161 7933647 0161 7933659 01942 712615 01204 332197

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PICTURES Giant Hogweed

Japanese knotweed

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