East Anglian Planning and Biodiversity Seminar Thursday 14th November 2019
SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES and PRESENTATION SUMMARIES National update on initiatives related to biodiversity and planning â€“ how can we deliver a greener planning system for the future ? Sue Hooton, Association of Local Government Ecologists / Place Services, Essex County Council & Gen Broad, Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service Biography Sue Hooton, Member of ALGE Executive Committee
Sue has been a member of the Association of Local Government Ecologists (ALGE) and its predecessor, the Working Panel of Local Authority Ecologists, for over 30 years, representing professional ecologists working in local government. She has also been a member of the ALGE National Executive Committee for over 12 years, which has included line management for the Associationâ€™s part time Project Officer. She has been actively involved in shaping some of the national initiatives which affect LPAs and ecologists over the years and being at the forefront, has striven to ensure these are fit for purpose for LPAs. Sue is also Principal Ecological Consultant at Place Services, Essex County Council and her expertise in ecology is complemented by considerable experience of applying this specialism to the planning system at all levels. She has a strong public service background and a track record of using this to avoid delays and find workable solutions to support sustainable development. She is used to interpreting complex wildlife legislation and policy for a wide variety of stakeholders from Councillors to Local Nature Reserve committees and is passionate about delivering outcomes through partnership working.
Sue has been a key ecology specialist for local authorities providing advice and support on a range of planning matters from Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects to County Council and District/ Borough development including expert advice on plan and project level Habitats Regulations Assessments and strategic mitigation schemes as well as giving evidence at Local Plan Examination, Public Inquiries & Hearings. Sue is a founder member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) and an affiliate member of the Landscape Institute. Presentation summary Sue will provide an update on national initiatives etc. related to biodiversity and planning, covering both development management and policy planners. These include what we hope will be included in the Environment Bill: an online Wildlife Assessment Check tool to support applicants, an update on Habitats Regulations Assessments, changes in how Protected Species should be considered in the planning process and a planned pilot for a new checklist for ecological assessment supported by RTPI South East region, CIEEM and ALGE. And a plug for ALGE membership…. which is open to officers in LAs & National Parks where a key part of their job description is delivery of biodiversity or nature conservation for £90pa. For more information visit https://www.alge.org.uk/alge-membership/.
Regional update on initiatives related to biodiversity and planning Biography Gen Broad, Biodiversity Officer, Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service Gen has worked professionally and as a volunteer with terrestrial and marine wildlife for over 25 years in the UK, the Philippines, Africa, Belize and the USA. Her work at SBIS over the past 11 years has included working closely with Local Authority planning teams to incorporate biodiversity enhancements into development, organising the annual Planning and Biodiversity Seminar, editing a biannual Planners’ Update and the quarterly SBIS e-newsletter and providing information on Priority
Species. She has also written articles on biodiversity for publications such as the East Anglian Daily Times and Suffolk Natural History and is the author of ‘Fishes of the Philippines’. Gen is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, the Association of Local Government Ecologists and Secretary of Suffolk
Naturalists’ Society. Presentation summary Gen will provide an update on regional issues related to biodiversity in development management and spatial strategy. These include the status of biodiversity validation requirements checklists, ecological
networks and Recreational Disturbance Avoidance Mitigation Strategies (RAMS) in Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk.
The Principles of Biodiversity Net Gain in Rivers and Streams Sarah Scott, National Biodiversity Advisor (Strategic Overview), Environment Agency Biography Sarah is a National Biodiversity Advisor in the Environment Agency. She has spent the last two years working with Natural England developing a metric for Rivers and Streams as part of Biodiversity Net Gain and the recently released Biodiversity Metric 2.0. She has previously spent 15 years as a biodiversity specialist in Hertfordshire and North London working on riverine and wetland restoration schemes. Presentation summary Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is development that leaves biodiversity in a better state than before. The 25 Year Environment Plan commits to embedding a principle of Environmental Net Gain at the heart of the planning system. The first step in working towards this is establishing a requirement for BNG, as the evidence and tools to support this are more developed. The upcoming Environment Bill will include provision for mandating BNG for developments that fall under the Town and Country Planning Act. Here we discuss how Rivers and Streams are considered within BNG, and the opportunities it creates for river restoration.
Suffolk Ecological Network Project Martin Sanford, Manager, Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service
Biography Martin has been Manager of Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service for 35 years. He is currently Chairman of Suffolk Naturalistsâ€™ Society and
edits the SNS journal Suffolk Natural History. He is Botanical Recorder for Suffolk and co-author of A Flora of Suffolk (2010). Presentation summary SBIS is looking to create a range of tools that could be used in GIS systems to look at Ecological Networks. We want to ensure that products are fit-for-purpose, scalable for individual landowners, parishes, neighbourhood plans as well as district and county-level strategic planning. We will look at the available data, methodologies for mapping networks and ways to distribute this information in formats that suit the end users.
District Level Licensing for Great Crested Newts: an Update Gareth Dalglish, Partnerships Manager, Strategic Licensing Programme, Natural England
Biography Gareth has been working professionally in nature conservation since 1980, firstly with the RSPB, then Suffolk Wildlife Trust and latterly with Natural England and its predecessor bodies (Nature Conservancy Council & English Nature). He has worked in Area and Regional Teams in Leicestershire, Cumbria and, for the last 20 years, in East Anglia, before joining the national GCN District Level Licensing Programme in 2017 as Partnership Manager. Gareth has been leading the work on developing partnerships with local authorities to deliver District Level Licensing. Presentation summary This will be an update on the District Level Licensing programme in England, with a look at how the project has evolved since 2017, how it is working in Kent and Cheshire, the plans for habitat creation and
the roll out in East Anglia this year.
Otters and planning Simone Bullion, Conservation Manager, Suffolk Wildlife Trust Biography Simone has a life-long interest in British mammals! She moved to Suffolk in 1989 and continued her involvement through
surveys and enthusing others about mammal ecology. In 1996, she coordinated a county-wide survey of otters followed by a similar survey of water voles in 1997 for Suffolk Wildlife Trust, which now represent valuable baseline surveys. More recently
she has specialised in small mammal ecology, particularly hazel dormouse and is the co-author of the soon to be published 3rd edition of the Dormouse Conservation Handbook. She has also published two fold-out charts on mammals for the Field Studies Council and is the author of The
Mammals of Suffolk, published in 2009. Simone has been a Council Member and also a trainer for The Mammal Society and is also an Associate Tutor for the Field Studies Council, leading otter and water vole courses and more recently dormouse surveying and ecology courses. She is also the County Mammal Recorder for Suffolk Naturalistsâ€™ Society.
She joined Suffolk Wildlife Trustâ€™s Conservation Team in 1999 and is now the Conservation Manager. This broad role involves the overseeing of a wide variety of ecological projects, advising local planning authorities and working with partners and stakeholders to protect and enhance Suffolkâ€™s rich biodiversity.
Presentation summary Otters almost reached the brink of extinction in the 1970s and 1980s. The recovery of populations in East Anglia is derived from captive-bred animals in the 1980s and 1990s, undertaken by The Otter Trust, whose headquarters were based near Bungay. Otters are now found on all rivers in Suffolk and although they are rarely seen, their distinctive field signs make them relatively easy to survey. Otters are fully protected under both European and UK law. As a wide-ranging species, it is not always straightforward to be able to assess the impact of development upon them. This presentation will briefly cover otter ecology and then review the likely planning situations where the presence of otters needs to be taken into consideration.
Planning a future Landscape with Water Voles Darren Tansley, Chair of UK Water Vole Steering Group Biography Darren Tansley has been working with the Wildlife Trusts since 2005 as a mammal ecologist and freshwater specialist, but his voluntary conservation work goes back to the 1988 phocine distemper outbreak that killed thousands of seals across the North Sea. As part of his River Catchment work at Essex Wildlife Trust he coordinates the Combined Essex Catchment Partnership and is currently working on a fish migration roadmap with the Thames Estuary Partnership, the Essex beaver release trial and an innovative new eDNA technique for monitoring mammal species in river catchments in conjunction with Salford University. In 2014 he co-authored the Mammals of Essex and was also invited to represent the Wildlife Trusts on the UK Water Vole Steering Group which coordinates the UK response to water vole issues from The Environment Agency, Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural Resources Wales, RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts and PTES (the People's Trust for Endangered Species). During this time he helped design
the new National Water Vole Monitoring Programme, supported the publication of the Water Vole Mitigation Handbook and coordinated the catchment scale reintroduction of water voles to the River Stort. In 2016 he was invited to chair the UK Water Vole Steering Group, taking over the role filled for 20 years by the Environment Agency's National Biodiversity Manager, Alastair Driver. Presentation summary Darren Tansley looks at the current status of water voles in the UK and the Eastern Region and the mitigation options for the species during a 10 year period when there has been a further 30% decline in
water vole distribution nationally. Why is the current system still failing this iconic species when there has never been so much conservation work employed to protect them? Can wildlife NGOs assist planners to look beyond short term, small scale planning proposals to a more connected landscape that can support both water voles during a period of unparalleled development pressure?
Bats and Watercourses Jan Collins, Head of Biodiversity, Bat Conservation Trust
Biography Jan has been working with bats in a voluntary and professional capacity for twenty years, including ten years as an ecological consultant (specialising in bats) and six years as Head of Biodiversity at the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT). During her time in consultancy, she worked formerly for a specialist bat consultancy and latterly for a large multidisciplinary environmental consultancy managing a wide variety of projects including ecological research, housing, industrial, commercial, road, rail, wind, solar and nuclear. Her role heading up the Biodiversity Team at BCT involves engaging with sectors that come into contact with, and can impact upon, bats. Two particular areas of focus are improving professional standards among ecological consultants (Bat Survey Guidelines, Professional Training Standards, Earned Recognition Partnership Project on licensing reform) and promoting the consideration of biodiversity in planning (Partnership for Biodiversity in Planning Project). Jan recently qualified as a Chartered Ecologist with the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management. Presentation summary Jan’s presentation will focus on the importance of waterways for bats: for roosting in bridges, bankside trees and buildings; for foraging over the water and amongst bankside vegetation; and for commuting along these interconnected flyways. The presentation will cover the use of waterways by Daubenton’s bat, otherwise known as the ‘Water Bat’, which specialises in foraging over water. Jan will cover the potential impacts of development on bats using waterways, with a focus on foraging and commuting bats and impacts such as lighting and loss of connectivity. Finally, Jan will cover ways in which local planning authorities can contribute to bat conservation and meet legal and policy obligations by ensuring that development projects take account of bats. This includes requiring developers to carry out appropriate bat survey work (to accepted standards) to inform impact avoidance, mitigation, compensation and enhancement measures. Development projects should aim to retain roosts (or, as a last resort, replace them); minimise disturbance to bats particularly at sensitive times of year such as the summer breeding and winter hibernation periods; retain areas of open, flat water for foraging;
retain or plant waterside vegetation; and ensure that lighting schemes are sensitive to bats.
Innovative Wetlands: the Ingol Case Study and Planning for the Future David Diggens, CEO, Norfolk Rivers Trust Biography David has had a life-long interest in the British countryside, its function and conservation. After 10 years in the Army he moved to Norfolk, where he has lived ever since. His business career has involved working with UKbased companies in the bottled water industry. He started a Norfolk
company with the aim of encouraging more people to take an interest in the natural environment, but that has totally been overtaken by The Norfolk Rivers Trust, its growth and development. Presentation summary David will focus on wetlands, national level initiatives, best practices and biodiversity. There is a focus on the development of The Integrated Constructed Wetland concept as that is the springboard for natural waste water treatment solutions. He will also comment on the planning system and give some simple solutions.
An Overview of the Engineering and Biodiversity of the SuDS at Bramford Emma Browning & Michael Hotze, Scottish Power Renewables Biography Emma Browning, East Anglia One Environmental Manager Emma has been working in the energy industry as an environmental professional since 2011, firstly with Balfour Beatty Transmission and Distribution in Scotland, then Scottish Power Energy Networks. Since 2016 she has worked as Environmental Manager on the East Anglia One Offshore Windfarm Project with responsibilities for both onshore and offshore environmental management. Emma works closely with the Senior Project Management Team and leads a team of 5 environmental specialists to deliver the project to a high standard.
Michael Hotze, East Anglia ONE Offshore Wind Farm Transmission Operator Biography Michael is a Chartered Civil Engineer with over 20 years experience as a Civil / Structural and Renewable Energy Engineer. He has lead responsibility for technical and commercial management on a wide range of international projects.
He is the Principal Project Manager at Scottish Power Renewables responsible for managing the technical and commercial delivery of the EA1 offshore Transmission Assets utilising a multi-contract strategy with over 30 separate contracts for design, supply, installation and commissioning of the system. These include the procurement, design, certification and installation of the onshore and offshore export cables and the onshore and offshore substations for a 714MW, 220kV AC electrical system. Presentation The presentation will introduce the East Anglia One Offshore Windfarm and the spatial footprint of the onshore substation at Bramford. It will mainly focus on the design and construction of the permanent SUDS arrangement which aims to contribute towards Biodiversity Net Gain in the immediate vicinity through the implementation of a detailed drainage and landscape plan. The SUDS pond is currently fully constructed and, although the landscaping has not yet started, it is already starting to attract wildlife.