Question from: County Councillor James Gibson-Watt Subject: Habitats Regulation Assessments
The following legislation is mandatory for Powys County Council when exercising its functions as the Local Planning Authority.
The list includes rivers and streams
Section 6 under Part 1 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 introduced an enhanced biodiversity and resilience of ecosystems duty (the S6 duty) for public authorities in the exercise of functions in relation to Wales. The S6 duty requires that public authorities must seek to maintain and enhance biodiversity so far as consistent with the proper exercise of their functions and in so doing promote the resilience of ecosystems.
Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)
Can the Portfolio Holder advise why Powys County Council is apparently not routinely complying with the above mandatory environmental process? Evidence of this is provided by the fact that I have been informed that Mr Peter Morris, Professional Lead Planning, has now arranged for staff training in relation to appropriate consideration of protected species and habitats and Habitats Regulations Assessments in response to concerns raised in respect of planning application 21/0042/AGR (Construction of an Agricultural Building on land Adjacent to Llowes Court, Llowes, Hereford HR3 5JA).
Response by the Portfolio Holder:
The Planning Service looks to ensure that appropriate environmental processes are followed for all planning applications. It is however acknowledged that insufficient information was secured while processing an application for a proposed agricultural storage building near Lowes. As a result of this event, the Planning Service implemented immediate training for Planning Officers and has taken appropriate steps to ensure that the developer complies with relevant environmental legislation.