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Nature conservation and planning

Guidance on the planning requirements for biodiversity.

Biodiversity and the potential presence of protected species are material considerations in the planning process both in national and local planning policy.

The core strategy contains two policies:

  • CS13 - green Network
  • CS17 - biodiversity which set out our policies on biodiversity

You can view the core strategy on the quick links above.

The following local plan policies may also be relevant to planning applications that affect biodiversity within the city:

  • GE01 - sites of special scientific interest
  • GE02 - sites of importance for nature conservation, local nature reserves and regionally important geological sites
  • GE03 - biodiversity enhancement sites
  • GE06 - protection of green wedges
  • GE09 - green space

Protected species

United Kingdom legislation provides for the protection of certain species of wild plants, birds and animals at all times; some species of bird are protected at certain times of the year only, while certain methods of taking or killing wild animals and birds are prohibited.

It is illegal to disturb protected species or the places in which they live.

Work affecting protected species and standing advice

Nature England provide standing advice for proposals affecting protected species. Also, licences may be needed to carry out work that could affect protected species. Further information and downloadable forms are available from the:

Planning applications

Where a proposed development is likely to affect protected species, the applicant must submit an up-to-date protected species survey and assessment. Protected species surveys and assessments must be submitted up-front with a planning application. Please view our planning application requirements page for further information:

Natural and wildlife sites

Certain sites within the city have been designated as having particular importance for nature conservation.

There is one Site of Special Scientific Importance (SSSI) at the Gipsy Lane Pit. Details of this can be found on the Natural England website.

A number of sites within the city have been designated as local wildlife sites - you can search to see if land is within a local wildlife site using our web mapping system.

A number of the best local wildlife sites are maintained as local nature reserves by our parks service. A link to these areas can be found above.

For further details of national biodiversity designations, follow the link to the MAGIC website provided by DEFRA below.

Supplementary planning guidance on biodiversity

This guidance explains why biodiversity is important to Leicester and to the people who live and work in the city. It describes the role that planning process can play in protecting and enhancing the natural resources and strategic biodiversity network of the city. A copy can be downloaded below.

A survey for protected species may be needed to support a planning application. For further details, go to our planning application requirements page.

Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP)

BAP summarises what is known about the most important areas of green space and how they provide a place for animals and plants to survive in Leicester. It also provides information on the many organisations and local groups that have contributed to conserving wildlife in the city. You can download a copy of the BAP from the bottom of this page.

The BAP is managed by us with assistance from partners that include Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, Leicestershire County Council, The Canal and River Trust, The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), The Environment Agency and Natural England. Progress against these targets will be monitored over the lifetime of the BAP (2011-2021).

Interim reports of 2012 - 2014 are available to download below.

Further information