Planning resources

This section is aimed at those associated with the green or built environment in the borough, primarily developers, planners and social housing providers. It contains useful information on the legislative and policy context at national, regional and local levels. Further pages within the section include guidance on protected species, green roofs and design for biodiversity, best practice case studies and sources of training.

Key legislation and guidance
Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act (NERC) 2006
Guidance for Local Authorities on Implementing the Biodiversity Duty
Duty Bound – London specific NERC Act guidance
Designating Local Nature Reserves

Planning policy and guidance

National Planning Policy Framework the most relevant section for biodiversity is chapter 11, paragraphs 109-119
Biodiversity & geological conservation – statutory obligations and their impact within the planning system (Circular 05/06) (originally a circular to accompany Planning Policy Statement 9, this should now be read in conjunction with the national Planning Policy Framework)

The London Plan – see policies 7.19 (biodiversity and access to nature), 7.21 (trees and woodlands), 7.28 (restoration of the Blue Ribbon Network), 5.10 (urban greening) and 5.11 (green roofs and development site environs)
Mayor of London’s Environment Strategy

Tower Hamlets Local Plan 2031 was adopted on 15 January 2000. The key policy is D.ES3 (urban greening and biodiversity). Other policies relevant to biodiversity include S.ES1 (protecting and enhancing our environment), S.OWS1 (creating a network of open spaces), S.OWS2 (enhancing the network of water spaces), D.OWS3 (open space and green grid networks) and D.OWS4 (water spaces).
Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation in Tower Hamlets these are shown on the Local Plan Policies Map
Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Tower Hamlets

Guidelines on ecological information needed for planning applications
The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management has several useful resources
Guidelines for Ecological Impact Assessment in the United Kingdom
Guidelines for preliminary ecological appraisal
Directory of ecological consultants

Greenspace Information for Greater London (GiGL), the environmental records <centre, manages Tower Hamlets Council’s ecological data and provides it to developers on behalf of the Council.

Buglife’s Brownfield Hub is a valuable resource for planners, developers and ecologists involved in the redevelopment of brownfield sites.