To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether decisions to grant planning consent are expected to adhere to the mitigation hierarchy when considering significant harm to biodiversity.
The Government's expectations are set out in the revised National Planning Policy Framework. If a planning proposal might affect biodiversity, the local authority should consider the need for Information, Avoidance, Mitigation and Compensation in turn, as indicated in the supporting guidance, if its decision is to prove robust. Mitigation measures are generally put in place by means of planning conditions or planning obligations, depending on the circumstances; and compliance is then enforceable. Where a development cannot satisfy the requirements of the mitigation hierarchy, planning permission should be refused.