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Planning for biodiversity and the natural environment

Wednesday, 22 March 2017 at 9:30AM - 4:30PM
Prospero House (etc Venues), 241 Borough High St, London SE1 1GA
£399 for RTPI members (From £199 with a season ticket)
£199 for licentiate members and independent consultants; £140 for students, unemployed and retired; £499 for non-members
RTPI Conferences

This masterclass will help planning practitioners understand current and future developments in law, guidance and advice relating to biodiversity and the natural environment.

Evidence requirements for biodiversity planning (including survey, mitigation and biodiversity gain) will be considered, including where to find helpful advice and guidance and how British Standard BS42020:2013 ‘Biodiversity: Code of practice for planning and development’ can be best used to compile, validate and assess planning applications with impacts on biodiversity.

The masterclass will also consider how planning for biodiversity relates to natural capital, ecosystem services and an ecosystems approach to decision-making that benefits both people and the natural environment. This approach links diverse areas of policy and practice, including planning for adaptation to climate change, biodiversity offsets and healthier lifestyles, and we will discuss how these can be secured and delivered through the planning process. 

Case studies will illustrate how this can occur at different geographic planning scales to meet the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the Biodiversity Strategy (Biodiversity 2020): A strategy for England’s wildlife and ecosystem services. The briefing will also look at progress since the Natural Environment White Paper (NEWP) was published in 2011 and what can be expected in the near future that will influence developers, development control, and land-use planning.

Presenters include experts in biodiversity, ecosystem services and environmental economics who work for both public and private sector client organisations on development projects, research and policy development.

Who should attend?

  • Government and local authority planners
  • Planners advising both private and public sector clients
  • Local authority members
  • Developers and developer advisors



1. Introduction 

Understanding how legal, policy and best practice drivers influence the work of professional ecologists working in the UK planning system

  • Understanding ecologists – what on earth are they thinking!?

2. Advice, guidance and standards

Pertinent case law. policy and changes in guidelines and standards that influence what is required to address biodiversity issues in spatial planning and development control, including ecological surveys and other evidence.

  •  Developments in case law and Standing Advice
  • Identifying and managing the risks of limited advice and capacity in LPAs
  • British Standard BS42020:2013 Biodiversity Code of practice for planning and development

 3. Current and future developments

Natural Capital and ecosystem services are important concepts within the NPPF and NEWP.  How are they addressed within the planning system now and how is this likely to change in future? How can emerging techniques, approaches and knowledge increase the sustainability of development, maintaining natural capital and the flow of ecosystem services to society?

  • Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital in decision-making – here and now or future aspiration?
  • Biodiversity planning and design for climate change
  • Biodiversity no net loss, net gain, and offsetting – what is reasonable?

4. Q & A

  • Open Q&A session


Ryan Mellor, Technical Director, Ecology, Dr Jo Hughes, Director, Environment and Dr Steve Smith, Technical Director, Policy & Appraisal, AECOM