Aspect Ecology’s evidence leads to successful appeal decision which provides confirmation that metric calculations should be interpreted alongside professional judgement when assessing biodiversity net gain
Aspect Ecology Associate Director Daniel Maughan presented evidence in respect of biodiversity matters for a successful appeal in Sittingbourne for a site proposed for large scale mixed-use residential led development. Ecology issues centred on the scope and extent of survey work undertaken, the appropriateness of mitigation in relation to Skylark and whether the scheme could demonstrate a net gain in biodiversity. The Inspector’s decision confirmed that the approach set out by Aspect Ecology in relation to the first two matters was appropriate and acceptable. In regard to the latter issue, calculations of biodiversity net gain using the beta version of the DEFRA Biodiversity Metric 2.0 undertaken by both Aspect Ecology and the Council gave widely varying results, largely a result of the split between woodland and mixed scrub planting. The Inspector judged that, given caveats associated with the metric, the output should be interpreted alongside professional judgement and common sense. Given the scheme included a comprehensive landscaping scheme, together with the significant beneficial impact that domestic gardens can have on enhancing biodiversity, the Inspector agreed with Daniel’s evidence that the proposed scheme would lead to a material increase in biodiversity.
The decision can be found at this link – click here.
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