Updated Planning Practice Guidance for the Natural Environment

Planning Practice Guidance website provides a valuable source of information, pulling together a number of resources relevant to a variety of planning issues.  The PPG offers basic information using accessible language.  Opportunities for further exploration is provided through links to external advice or guidance while cross referencing to the National Planning Policy Framework also extends and re-enforces understanding of the subjects.

Link to on-line document is below:


At Nicholas Pearson Associates we often refer to planning practice guidance to inform our assessment and design work.  The Department for Communities and Local Government have recently produced a new style of Planning Practice Guidance, with the intention of making information more accessible.  There are many sections of this guidance which relate to our work at Nicholas Pearson Associates, in progressing landscape and ecological tasks in support of Planning Applications or Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and related tasks on behalf of our clients.  Relevant subjects in the guidance include: Conserving and enhancing the historic environment; Design; EIA; Minerals; Natural Environment; Open Space and Rights of Way; and TPOs.  This article will take a closer look at the Natural Environment section.

The guidance is now in the form of a website divided into subject sections each of which poses a series of questions.  The concise answers given include a summary of the main issues with hyperlinks to additional guidance or external bodies which provide more detailed.  Each question is cross referenced to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which was published in March 2012 and replaces many of the previous PPGs, PPSs, circulars and letters to chief planning officers.  The NPPF sets out the Governments planning policies for England and their expected application.  The new Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) forms part of the planning portal series of web pages.

The Natural Environment guidance is divided into 3 sections:

  • Landscape;
  • Biodiversity, ecosystems and green infrastructure;
  • Brownfield land, soils and agricultural land.

Section 11 of the NPPF is the most relevant although other sections are sometimes referenced.

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