Landscape and Biodiversity
Biodiversity Net Gain Study
The requirement for biodiversity net gain was introduced through Section 17 of the Environment Act 2021. This requires a net gain in biodiversity to be achieved, initially onsite or if not viable or achievable fully on site then through a local levy towards a local strategically important offsite scheme before any buying or selling of biodiversity credits at a national level. The 10% included in Schedule 17 of the Environment Act should be considered the minimum during the transition period until Oct 2023. It is expected the DEFRA Biodiversity Metric will be used to establish the baseline for a site and to accompany any biodiversity net gain plan submitted.
The Arun Biodiversity Net Gain Study November 2022 was approved by the Planning Policy Committee on 24 November 2022. It formed part of the evidence base at a strategic level, to help implementation of the BNG 10% metric and directs actions towards appropriate locations where biodiversity net gains will achieve the optimum benefit for nature recovery or expansion. This is presented in parts 1 and 2 of the reports below.
In addition, the study provides advice on the development of planning policy in any Local Plan update (once resumed), as well as to inform future work to take forward an Arun localised offset levy. This is contained in parts 3 and 4 of the Biodiversity Net Gain Study with Appendices below.
A quick reference to the key proposals mapped in the study include: Strategic Areas of High Value (i.e. Core Areas focussed on the Biodiversity Opportunity Areas) ( Figure 6.1 strategic areas [pdf] 173KB ); Potential Barbastelle and Bechstein’s Bat Corridor ( Figure 5.1 Potential Bat Corridor.pdf[pdf] 165KB ); Existing BOAS and Potential Wildlife Corridors ( Figure 6.2 Existing BOAs and potential wildlife corridors.pdf[pdf] 197KB ).
Green Infrastructure Maps
The Green Infrastructure Study identifies a network of Green Infrastructure (GI) assets which must be protected, enhanced and, where possible, better connected, through future development. The GI network map[pdf] 2MB identifies the existing network of GI assets which must be taken into consideration alongside chapter 17 of the local plan - natural environment [pdf] 560KB Policy SP21 in the Draft Local Plan.
NOTE: The original parish level maps shown below detailing the GI network were based on the situation in 2012 and are being updated to reflect the currently adopted Arun local Plan 2018. The parish level maps below, generally, are therefore now out of date. Any updates produced are clearly marked within the following list.
Where there are no updated parish level maps below then it will be necessary to reference the maps contained in the latest neighbourhood development plan, which can be found on Neighbourhood Planning | Arun District Council.
Green Infrastructure Network Maps by Parish November 2012
The Green Infrastructure Study (June 2012)
The National Planning Policy Framework defines Green Infrastructure as:
'A network of multi-functional green space, urban and rural, which is capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities'.
Through stakeholder engagement and fieldwork, Land Use Consultants have prepared a study, on behalf of Arun District Council, which aims to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the District's existing green infrastructure network, and opportunities to improve and strengthen the network. By doing so, the study aims to provide the evidence to help shape the future growth in the District and develop a joined up approach to delivering ecological services, recreational benefits, climate change mitigation, adaptation measures and the retention and enhancement of landscape character and distinctiveness across the District.
Arun's Green Infrastructure Study [pdf] 4MB presents a Green Infrastructure Framework which will be used as a basis for preparing policies within the Local Plan and will enable:
- The areas of 'highest' environmental value to be identified (environmental value is to be judged by the multiple functions and benefits provided that contributes to the diversity and distinctiveness of the area).
- The areas where there is potential to create high value environments that provide multiple functions and benefits in the future to be identified.
- Local communities and the Local Authority to protect, enhance and create new opportunities for Green Infrastructure in the District.
List of figures at November 2012
Bognor Regis GI Framework Study
The Bognor Regis GI Framework Study "A Landscape and Green Infrastructure Framework Connecting Bognor Regis to the South Downs National Park (January 2020)" [pdf] 52MB was considered by the Planning Policy Sub-Committee on 25 February 2020 which endorsed the report both for the purposes of assisting the assessment of any planning applications currently under consideration.
Arun Landscape Study 2017
This study focuses on the strategic sites considered for inclusion in the local plan and due to the size of the report was produced in 5 separate parts, which can be viewed using the links below.
Landscape & Visual Amenity Aspects of Development Choices in Arun District 2006
In March 2006 the Council employed Hankinson Duckett Associates to carry out a Landscape Sensitivity Study covering the part of the District between the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the coastline but excluding the defined built up areas.
The purpose of the study was to prepare an independent assessment of landscape sensitivity in order to provide a further tool to assist strategic decision making and the broad location of future major new greenfield developments in the district.
A second aim was to consider carefully the existing boundaries of the Strategic and Local Gaps and to make recommendations as to whether they can be altered compromising either visual or perceived coalescence between the relevant settlements.
This report does not constitute Arun District Council policy, but will form part of the evidence base used in preparing the emerging Local Development Framework.
It should be noted that there is a requirement by the Environment Agency that the Council undertake a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) of the District. The Environment Agency's Indicative Flood Risk Maps were used as part of the assessment of the degrees of sensitivity of the local character landscape areas, the SFRA could require a reappraisal of sensitivity in those area where flood risk information changes. The studies are available below:
The Soils and Agricultural Land Assessment 2013 can be found on our Employment (planning policy) page.