Natural England launch new standing advice on ancient woodland.

This advice updates Natural England’s guidance on addressing ancient woodland.

Key updates include:

  • NPPF para 118 bullet 1 is referenced, in terms of ‘avoidance’. It therefore appears that Natural England now acknowledge that the remainder of the mitigation hierarchy should also be followed for ancient woodland;

  • That planning authorities must decide on the weight to be given to ancient woodland and veteran trees in individual cases. This therefore acknowledges that the condition of the ancient woodland is relevant in the weighing of the planning balance;

  • That mitigation proposals can now be weighed in the planning balance when assessing the merits of a development proposal.

Aspect Ecology carry specialist expertise in ancient woodland matters. We are currently working on a range of high profile cases and we regularly appear as expert witnesses at planning appeals on this matter. For further advice please contact our Ecology Director Alistair Baxter