Strengthening climate action in new developments

Cllr Patient in role as flood warden

Work to progress the development of two documents which will help guide future planning decisions is being discussed by Calderdale Council’s Cabinet.

At the Cabinet meeting on Monday 3 June 2024, Councillors will consider two reports relating to the development of Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs). These documents provide more detailed advice and guidance on policies in the Council’s adopted Local Plan.

The first SPD being considered relates to flood risk and drainage and outlines the approach to be taken to manage flood risk and the impact on the water environment as part of new development proposals.

The Flood Risk and Drainage SPD highlights the information that will be needed to accompany future planning applications to reduce the impact on the environment. It outlines the approach that developers must take to manage flood risk and ensure development is appropriately located, well designed and managed to take account of the impacts of climate change.

The second SPD relates to biodiversity net gain. This sets out the process developers must follow at each stage of the planning process to achieve their duty to protect and enhance biodiversity.

Biodiversity net gain is an approach to development that aims to leave the natural environment in a better state than it was before development. It is now a mandatory part of the planning system in England, coming into effect in February 2024 for major developments and April 2024 for minor developments.

More significant new developments are 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.

The SPD includes details about how developers can avoid or offset any negative impacts on the natural environment related to the 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.

Both the Flood Risk and Drainage and Biodiversity Net Gain SPDs have been updated to reflect comments received as part of public consultations which took place in autumn/winter 2023.

Cabinet Members are asked to agree to recommend to Full Council that they adopt both documents.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Action and Housing, Cllr Scott Patient, said:

“We’re considering the development of a series of documents which look in more detail at parts of the Local Plan, and the two documents being considered by Cabinet relate to flood risk and biodiversity.

“Protecting Calderdale’s distinctive environment is so important, and climate action is a key Council priority. We want to make sure that the necessary development in the borough is carefully managed, appropriately located, well designed and managed to take account of the impacts of climate change.”

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet meeting is on Monday 3 June 2024 at Halifax Town Hall from 4pm. The meeting can also be viewed online at link)

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