Draft Bourn Airfield Supplementary Planning Document - June 2019
Representation ID: 168046
Respondent: The National Trust
5A BIODIVERSITY AND HABITATS
Whilst the commitment to net gain as a Guiding Principle is helpful, the SPD does not elaborate a specific measurable requirement as a Spatial Fix.
It would be helpful if the SPD set out further detail in terms of the delivery of new priority habitat as an integral component of green infrastructure provision, consistent with Government's commitment to mandating measurable biodiversity gain through the introduction of a 10% minimum planning policy requirement, and with Government's ambition for the Oxford to Cambridge Arc to 'demonstrate the ambitions of the government's 25 Year Environment Plan'. A key element of the Plan is to ensure that ambitions for growth are met whilst leaving the environment in a better state, and in March 2019 Government published a Joint Declaration in which local authorities affirmed their support for this approach. This Trust supports this approach.
A measurable approach to net gain would also be consistent with the objectives of the Cambridgeshire Green Infrastructure Strategy, and with the 'Developing with Nature Toolkit', launched earlier this year by the Natural Cambridgeshire Local Nature Partnership (LNP) as part of the LNP's broader net biodiversity gain initiative. The intention is to seek a minimum priority habitat contribution of 20% from all development in Cambridge and Peterborough above a minimum threshold. The Trust shares this broad ambition which reflects the scale of past habitat loss across the region, and in our view 20% would provide an appropriate target contribution for Bourn Airfield new village.