Biodiversity Action Plan Update
Decision Maker: Heritage, Culture and Leisure Committee
Decision status: Item Called In
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Review of the requirements to update the
Council's Biodiversity Action Plan and provide recommendations to
Committee on the next steps.
Mrs Jennifer Shepherd, the Head of Environment and Public Realm, presented the Biodiversity Action Plan Update to the Committee.
Mrs Shepherd highlighted to the Committee that:
· Maidstone’s Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) was adopted in 2011 to collate knowledge on priority species and habitats and to provide an action plan to conserve and protect them for the future.
· The LBAP had not been updated since 2014 and as the Maidstone Borough Local Plan and the Parks and Open Spaces 10 Year Plan were adopted in 2017, it was appropriate to complete a refresh of the LBAP.
· Refreshing the LBAP would show the Council’s future intentions and the importance it placed on biodiversity in the Borough.
· The cost implication of approximately £25,000 would be funded from the underspend from the Parks and Open Spaces 2017/18 budget.
Councillor Newton addressed the Committee on this item.
The Committee raised concerns about the cost of the LBAP refresh, in a time when budgets on frontline services were being cut.
The Committee noted that in order to impose stringent conditions on planning applications, to prevent the loss of ancient woodland for example, there needed to be robust policies in place and the LBAP would provide this.
In response to a question from the Committee, Mrs Shepherd confirmed that by refreshing the LBAP and finding out ways to encourage biodiversity, the cost to the Council of maintaining areas of land could decrease.
That a refresh of Maidstone’s Biodiversity Action plan funded from the underspend from the Parks and Opens Spaces 2017/18 budget be agreed.
Voting: For – 8 Against – 1 Abstentions - 0
Wards Affected: (All Wards);
Report author: Jennifer Shepherd
Publication date: 05/02/2018
Date of decision: 30/01/2018