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In 2006, the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act brought with it a duty for all public and quasi-public organisations to have regard to biodiversity in the delivery of all their functions.  As a result, local authority education, housing, economic regeneration and highways departments, as well as the local planning authority, all have a duty to consider the implications on ecology resulting from any of their actions.

 

Whilst paying scant regard to this duty is unlikely to result in a prosecution, it is feasible that a 3rd party objection to the local government ombudsman could result in decisions being overturned if this requirement to consider biodiversity is not satisfied.

 

The work of ecologists within these public bodies is therefore paramount in ensuring that consents and projects remain compliant with Section 40 (41 in Scotland) of the Act.  Where such expertise is limited, Ecology Network can assist in evaluating projects or procedures so they can be configured to deliver this requirement.

 

We can also assist in undertaking local and regional biodiversity assessments and galvanising and empowering partnerships to deliver local biodiversity initiatives.

 

The work of public bodies may impact upon protected sites or species, either by the delivery of discrete projects and/or by implementation of policies.  Ecology Network can undertake the production of both Appropriate Assessments and Strategic Appropriate Assessments, as well as preceding screening process.

 

In taking forward compliance, the LPA is often required to undertake a number of policy and / or legislation-led actions, such as carrying out wildlife site or Hedgerow Regulation assessments.  Ecology Network has the capability to effectively deliver such projects.

 

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