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East Anglian Planning and Biodiversity Seminar Thursday 22nd November 2018

SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES and PRESENTATION SUMMARIES An Ecologist’s Epiphany - After All This Time, Why Do We Still Not Get What We Want? Biography Mike has been working in the planning system for over 25 years. He spent 12 years as an ecologist in local government and for the last 16 years has been working as a consultant largely with public sector clients, and during that time he has also been part time project officer for the Association of Local Government Ecologists. He has always had a particular interest in exploring how the planning system can do the best it can in delivering benefits and gains for biodiversity … be they at the landscape scale or very modest improvements with small schemes. Mike also believes that the system can do far better and that we often only scratch the surface compared to the potential gains that could be achieved if all of the parts of the process operated smoothly together. Presentation summary This session will provide a light hearted examination of why we don’t always get the biodiversity mitigation or enhancements we have agreed to or expect from the planning and development process. The session will also consider whether the reasons for this are an inevitable outcome of human interaction and communication (i.e. whether we are doomed to failure!!), or whether we can make subtle but important tweaks in the way we approach things that might result is better outcomes. Mike will present some practical

Courtesy East Anglian Daily Times

Mike Oxford, ALGE


solutions of his own, but will also seek audience participation to find out who else might have had an ‘epiphany’ along the way.

Planning for Pollinators David Dowding, Buglife Biography David is a Conservation Officer for Buglife, managing the Urban Buzz project in Ipswich. After completing his Bachelor’s degree in Zoology, David spent 3 years working for Ipswich Borough Council’s Wildlife team. Here he carried out a great deal of conservation work across the town’s Ecological network and during that time made good relationships with various local wildlife and community groups. David has been on the Suffolk Butterfly Conservation Committee for 4 years has been strongly involved with heathland restoration and monitoring of the Silver studded blue. Presentation summary The presentation will focus on pollinators and the work Buglife is doing to help them across the UK. Key topics covered will be the Bee-lines initiative and the Urban Buzz project and how Buglife are promoting pollinators through the planning system. There will be lots of case studies and examples of habitat creation and land management strategies for pollinators, particularly in urban areas.

Suffolk Design – Biodiversity Philip Isbell, Acting Chief Planning Officer Babergh and Mid Suffolk Councils Presentation summary Philip will introduce the Suffolk Design project and set out how it relates to the wider work of the Suffolk Growth Programme Board. He will explain the overall programme of work that is being undertaken and the outputs that are anticipated.

Suffolk Design – Biodiversity Lindsey Wilkinson, Chartered Landscape Architect Biography Lindsey Wilkinson is a Chartered Landscape Architect, and Fellow of the Landscape Institute, and the Royal Geographical Society, with over twenty years’ experience across a diverse range of project scales and scenarios, from Green Grids to Pocket Parks. Currently, she works as a freelance practitioner specialising as a landscape architect and green infrastructure consultant, with historic landscape and greenspace expertise. She’s a committed advocate of her profession as an essential component of sustainable and successful design-led schemes.


Lindsey is an active member of Design Review Panels for Design South East and OPUN. She’s appointed as a Built Environment Expert for Design Council CABE, and a Panel Member for Cambridgeshire’s Quality Panel. She sits on the National Trust’s Historic Environment Group and Design Advice Forum as a Specialist Advisor. Presentation summary The presentation will discuss policies, practice and tools to promote and embed biodiversity objectives and initiatives throughout the planning and design process. And how planners, designers and developers can work collaboratively and creatively to promote green infrastructure and apply biodiversity in practice. This presentation forms the second part of the Suffolk Design presentation, following on from Karen Chapman’s Introduction to the project, which is working to create and embed design guidance across the County.

Mitigation for Stag Beetles – the Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence Colin Hawes, Royal Holloway University of London Biography Colin is a retired teacher/lecturer (biological and environmental sciences). He has spent the best part of thirty years investigating the distribution, life cycle, ecology and behaviour of the European stag beetle and had several peer-reviewed papers published describing his research. Currently, he is writing a PhD thesis: ‘Behaviour of the Stag Beetle – keys to understanding its distribution in the U.K.’ Presentation summary The stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) is listed on Annex II of the EC Habitats Directive. It is fully protected by law in Europe and is a UK Priority Biodiversity Action Plan species. Loss of habitat is the principle cause of decline in local stag beetle abundance and is responsible for extinction in known populations. This presentation illustrates this species unusual life cycle, explains the constraints faced when conducting surveys for this insect and suggests simple methods to mitigate for loss of habitat.


Potential Uses of Existing Bird Survey Data to Facilitate Planning Decisions Gavin Siriwardena, British Trust for Ornithology Biography Having trained in bird behavioural ecology at Cambridge and Leicester, Gavin has worked for the BTO for more than 20 years, mostly on farmland bird issues – detecting and diagnosing population declines and testing management solutions, such as agrienvironment schemes. More recently, he has begun working more in an urban context and on ecosystem services, applying knowledge of survey techniques, ecology and data analysis to bird population responses in human habitats. He has published more than 30 scientific papers, co-authored the BTO’s Migration Atlas in 2002, and has collaborated with scientists from universities and NGOs from across the UK, Europe and beyond on various projects. Gavin now leads the BTO’s Terrestrial Ecology team and he is particularly interested in conservation in anthropogenic habitats – management to benefit the species that people experience directly and the health of our immediate environment, not just remote and exciting rarities. Presentation summary Interest in “greening” developments is growing, but typically leads to tweaks to plans based on anecdotal evidence and subjective preferences, such as for swift bricks and hedgehog houses, or ponds and wildflower beds. There is a gap in the ready availability of quantitative evidence for the consequences of planning decisions. This talk will describe new and planned analytical work exploiting the data archives of the BTO to understand how different features of urban landscapes affect birds and to construct models to predict the effects of different possible urban structures, from the garden scale up to regional or national. The aim is to develop the results into accessible tools to help planners consider how different urban design options will influence local biodiversity, whether relating to where development should go or to how to do it after locations are known. This will help planners and developers to produce environments that support both conservation and high environmental quality as perceived by local residents.


People Over Wind case - Implications for Development Control Decision Making Gareth Durrant, West Suffolk Councils Biography Gareth has worked in the planning system for 20 years all within a public sector environment. He has spent the past 5 years working for the shared service authorities of West Suffolk (St Edmundsbury Borough and Forest Heath District) as a Principal Planning Officer for ‘Major Projects’. Before that, Gareth had two spells working in south Suffolk for Babergh District Council, either side of a period working for Tendring District Council in northeast Essex. Prior to that, Gareth began his planning career in the late 1990’s at Suffolk Coastal District Council. During his career Gareth has developed a keen interest in the environmental law aspects of planning and has accrued expertise in the relevant planning processes including those established by the Habitats and Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations. Presentation Summary The presentation will discuss the ‘People over Wind’ case handed down by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in April this year and, in particular, the implications of the ruling for the consideration and determination of planning applications which may impact upon designated European sites. The ECJ ruling is likely to increase the volume of Appropriate Assessments carried out before planning decisions are reached in parts of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. The presentation will therefore include a short summary of the legislative context of, and basic requirements for carrying out, an ‘Appropriate Assessment’ under the UK’s ‘Habitats Regulations’.

Wildlife Crime and Development Paul Cantwell, Essex & Suffolk Constabularies Biography Paul is now in his 20th year working for Natural England (NE) and its predecessor bodies. He Joined the Farming & Rural Conservation Agency (FRCA) based in Cambridge as a Consultant Wildlife Management (WMA) Adviser. He continued as a WMA until 2009 when he moved role to become what is now NE’s National Species Enforcement Specialist overseeing our NE’s enforcement role across England. Paul also had ownership of the delivery of the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) that looks in to the death or injury of wildlife, companion animals and beneficial insects where pesticides are thought to be involved in England on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive. Paul led on NE’s


relationship with the Police Service, National Wildlife Crime Unit (to whom he was seconded at one stage) and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). He chaired the East of England wildlife crime Regional Enforcement Group and sat as the NE representative on the UK Government’s Badger and Bat wildlife crime priority delivery groups and the CPS wildlife community involvement panel. He moved on secondment to a Policy Manager role Defra in October 2018 working in their Future Farming & Countryside programmes Regulation and Enforcement work stream. Paul is a Police Support Volunteer with both Suffolk and Essex Constabularies working with their wildlife and rural crime teams. Presentation summary Paul’s talk will outline the role of the Police in relation to species and habitats in respect of development cases. It will cover some typical situations that get referred to it, and how cases are investigated. It will cover powers that the Police have in relation to such cases, how the Police work with relevant partner agencies and cover some case studies.

Planning seminar 2018 - speaker biographies and presentation summaries  
Planning seminar 2018 - speaker biographies and presentation summaries