John Healey visits Centenary Riverside
Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust has always realised the importance of influencing relevant policies and strategies where they can have an impact on, or provide an opportunity for nature conservation and engagement with wildlife.
The work we do includes:
- Working with the Wildlife Trusts nationally to influence policy and respond to relevant consultations such as the new Defra 25 Environment Strategy and national planning policies.
- Influencing local evironment strategies including Sheffield Trees and Woodlands Strategy, Sheffield Flood Prevention Consultation, Sheffield’s Green & Open Spaces Strategy, Sheffield Waterways Strategy, Rotherham Waterways Strategy and the South Yorkshire Green Infrastructure Strategy by attending meetings and workshops, sitting on steering groups and responding to consultations.
- Working with Local Planning Authories to integrate The Living Don: A Network for Nature (our Living Landscape Map) into Local Plans.
- Using the same methods to influence national, regional and local Biodiversity Action Plans and Strategies.
- Co-chairing the Sheffield Green Commission.
- Responding to HS2 consultations.
- Influencing key community and well-being strategies to ensure that engagement with the natural environment and the benefits of sustainable lifestyles are included.
- Encouraging Local Authorities and other public bodies to implement the NERC Biodiversity Duty by staging a high profile event and producing sector-specific guidance notes.
- Providing briefing papers for partners and articles for members on key documents.
This work is important because it allows the Trust’s priorities to be integrated into these policies and strategies, making it easier for the work to actually be delivered on the ground. The work also raises the profile of the Trust and the different work we do. The Trust’s Chief Executive, the Living Landscape Development Manager and the Community Engagement & Learning Manager lead on this work with other members of staff, trustees and volunteers.
Biodiversity and the Town & Country Planning System
The Town & Country Planning System can both threaten and provide opportunities for biodiversity. Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust works with the Local Authorities in South Yorkshire to:
- Provide a response to key relevant local planning applications which could have a significant negative impact on biodiversity, or create an opportunity for biodiversity enhancement.
- Comment on relevant Local Plans – these set out the policies and maps (known as forward planning) on how the Local Authorities will deal with spatial planning for their area and planning applications (known as development control).
- Develop and deliver training to planning officers (both forward planning and developmental control officers) on biodiversity issues and how to integrate biodiversity priorities into their Local Plans
- Ensure Biodiversity Action Plans are relevant to the planning system – for example the Green Roof Habitat Action Plan for Sheffield.
- Ensure Local Wildlife Sites are protected robustly in the local planning systems (as the sites are not protected in any other way).
For any planning concerns please email us firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 0114 2634335.
18th November 2016
Proposed Gullivers development at Pithouse West
Planning refs: RB2016/1454 RB2016/1455
Dear Rotherham MBC
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this application.
We do not object to this application, although we have made a number of comments.
We have been largely impressed by the attitude of Gulliver’s and their consultant ecologists in showing a willingness to work with the landscape, to preserve the best areas of the site for wildlife and to manage the areas that will not be subject to intense development. These will form important components of the overall site and experience for future visitors. Access will also be maintained for public rights of way for people who currently enjoy the site as a green space.
Gulliver’s are also keen to include environmental education as part of the proposals and we have talked to them about our experience in this field and potential future collaboration. We welcome ecological surveying and management of the site to secure the long-term ecological future of the site. However it should still be recognised that this is a major development in a green space within the green belt that currently provides habitat for a range of biodiversity, especially birds. Local birders have recorded over 100 species of bird using the site, making it one of the best sites for birds in Rotherham. Our detailed comments below are mainly focused on recognising this importance, the potential impacts on the birds and ensuring that appropriate level of mitigation, compensation, monitoring and long-term management are put in place.
We welcome the opportunity to continue dialogue with Gulliver’s, RMBC and other local stakeholders to ensure the best future for this site.
Dr Nicola Rivers
Living Landscape Development Manager
Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust.