The Council conducted a Habitat survey in 2012 as part of the adopted Local Plan (2011-2031). This was thought dated and also did not reflect new sites which had come forward in the preparation of the emerging Local Plan. This was confirmed by the independent views of two ecologists. In addition it does not reflect the amendments that have been made to the Habitat Regulations following an EUJ ruling and subsequent updates to the Habitat Regulations.
The previous Habitat survey also had a focus which is not in train with current thinking which requires sites to enhance existing habitat (as referred to in the 2019 NPPF) across all land uses.
It is therefore considered that this work requires revision to the sites previously included in the earlier study and assessment of new sites. In total this equates to 79 sites (23 of which were subject to Phase 1 habitat survey through the 2012 Wildlife Audit and these assessments have been cross referenced in the lis of sites to be surveyed.)
New sites will require a desktop assessment and a site visit and preparation of a site report in the format adopted in the previous Wildlife Audit. Sites previously subject to the wildlife audit will require a site visit and a refresh of the Wildlife Audit report sheet for the site. All sites will require an assessment of the options for delivering the most beneficial net gain on site in order to conform with the 2019 NPPF.
The Council can also give the consultant access to the photographic survey of the Borough (on signing the appropriate agreement with IBC’s GIS officer) which can be used for the desktop assessment as well as access to the original Wildlife Audit and maps to support the shortlisted sites where these sites are new and outside the 2012 Wildlife Audit.
On consultation with procurement they have advised the contract is suitable for a closed quote process. The following organisations have been approached:
1. Suffolk Wildlife Trust
2. The Landscape Partnership
3. Adonis Ecology Ltd.
Decision type: Non-key
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Wards affected: (All Wards);
Notice of proposed decision first published: 24/07/2019
Decision due: 12 Jul 2019 by Officer Decision
Consultation taken with procurement, and the Planning Operations Manager.