Ensuring developments deliver environmental benefits

Brearley Fields when flooded

People could soon have their say on documents setting out how future planning developments will meet requirements to deliver improvements for the natural environment.

At the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 9 October 2023, Members will be asked to approve a four-week public consultation on the Biodiversity Net Gain Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). Once adopted, this would form part of local planning legislation and support the implementation of the Local Plan.

Biodiversity net gain is an approach to development that aims to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state than it was before development. The policy is set to become a mandatory part of the planning system in England.

Once implemented, more significant new developments will be required to demonstrate at least a 10% overall increase in biodiversity – this could be achieved by enhancing or creating habitats for wildlife on or near development sites.

Calderdale Council’s planning department, in partnership with officers in the countryside service, has prepared the Biodiversity Net Gain SPD which sets out the process developers must follow at each stage of the planning application to achieve their duty to protect and enhance biodiversity.

The SPD includes details about how developers can avoid or offset any negative impacts on the natural environment related to proposed development and how they can deliver benefits to residents through improvements to soil, water and air quality, flood risk management and opportunities for recreation.

The Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Jane Scullion, said:

“Calderdale’s natural environment is part of what makes the borough so special, providing benefits for our health, our wellbeing and our economy. We want to do all we can to promote the conservation, restoration and enhancement of our environment and ensure that the necessary growth in the borough does not negatively impact upon its biodiversity.

“These supplementary planning documents set out how developments can meet the requirements of upcoming national legislation designed to protect and enhance biodiversity. The SPD has been prepared in consultation with other neighbouring boroughs and local partners to ensure it supports regional ambitions and also our Council priorities of taking climate action and reducing inequalities.”

The Biodiversity Net Gain Supplementary Planning Document will be discussed at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 9 October 2023 at Halifax Town Hall from 3pm. The meeting can also be viewed online at link)

Calderdale’s Local Plan supports the Vision 2024 for Calderdale themes of distinctiveness, resilience and enterprise. The year 2024 marks Calderdale’s 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? Get involved with the debate on Twitter with #VisionCdale2024 and find out more at

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