Development should protect and enhance biodiversity by seeking to ensure no loss or significant harm to biodiversity sites, protected species or their habitats. Where development would result in the loss or significant harm to biodiversity, applicants will be required to demonstrate that the adverse impacts will be adequately mitigated, or as a last resort compensated for.
Where appropriate, development schemes should embed proposals which look to enhance existing natural features within the site and increase biodiversity, such as maximising the potential for gardens in new residential development to contribute to biodiversity by providing a habitat for wildlife.
The plan area includes a wide range of species and habitats including: the Boldon Pastures SSSI which lies to the east of the plan area in an exceptionally biodiverse wildlife corridor; areas of woodland, magnesian limestone grassland to the west of the plan area and good quality agricultural land. There are five designated local wildlife sites at Black Plantation, Boldon Flats, Low House Copse, Tilesheds Burn and Turner’s Hill. The plan area is identified as important for farmland birds, including corn bunting, grey partridge, lapwing, snipe, tree sparrow and yellow wagtail.
Policy EB7 therefore seeks to protect and enhance biodiversity across the plan area and will support the delivery of plan objective 3.