What is Supplementary Planning Guidance?
Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) are produced to provide further evidence, clarification, and support for certain policies provide further details on how the policies should be interpreted or applied in practice. SPGs take many forms including Design Guides, Master Plans, or Development Control Advice Notes. Their usefulness is noted in areas where the level of detail exceeds what would be appropriate for a development plan, or an urgent policy response is needed for an emerging issue.
SPGs do not have the same status as adopted Development Plan policies, and cannot be used to make new policies. SPGs remain a material consideration in determining planning applications.
Sustainable development lies at the heart of the National Planning Policy Framework
2012 and is seen as a golden thread running through both plan-making and decision taking. Biodiversity is an essential component of sustainable development and minerals restoration can play an important role enhancing it.
The Mineral Site Restoration for Biodiversity SPG supports the Minerals Local Plan (July, 2014), which established a ‘target’ for the creation of 200 hectares (ha) of new habitat considered a ‘priority’ for conservation action by the Essex Biodiversity Project. Specifically, the role of the SPG is to:
• Implement Policy S12 ‘Mineral Site Restoration and After-Use’.
• Establish a masterplan framework for ‘Flagship Schemes’.
• Identify the detailed policy approach to habitat creation at mineral sites generally.
The SPG has been developed through a process of consultation and engagement with a wide-range of stakeholders including a Technical Advisory Group comprised of Natural England, RSPB, Nature After Minerals, Buglife, Essex Wildlife Trust, the Essex Biodiversity Project and the Minerals Products Association.
The SPG provides detailed advice and guidance about ‘Biodiversity Enhancement and Habitat Creation’ to help site operators make successful applications.
Implementation of the Priority Habitat Creation Target will ensure the Mineral Local Plan achieves a net-gain in biodiversity through making a substantial contribution to the Essex Biodiversity Action Plan and England’s Biodiversity Strategy. Furthermore, it demonstrates that the Minerals Planning Authority has responded positively to the ‘biodiversity duty’ placed upon it by the 2006 Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act.
The Mineral Site Restoration for Biodiversity Supplementary Planning Guidance is split into five parts:
• Part I ‘sets-the-scene’ and explains how the SPG was developed, who we worked with and the rationale that underpins it;
• Part II describes the information that is required to help make a successful application;
• Part III presents indicative restoration plans for the five Flagship Schemes and explains the approach used to identify them;
• Part IV provides detailed guidance about design, maintenance and monitoring for the six priority habitats;
• Part V includes supporting technical information and a glossary of terms.