Agenda item - Swift Boxes and Bee Bricks in New Development

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Agenda item

Swift Boxes and Bee Bricks in New Development

Report of the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture

Decision:

That the Committee:

 

1)            Notes the planning policy framework already in place (in terms of the adopted City Plan Part One) and that further policy is being prepared through City Plan Part Two to positively support the incorporation of swift boxes/bricks and bee bricks in suitable new development.

 

2)            Agrees to officers finalising and implementing the further actions set out in the report in paragraphs 3.13 and 3.14 so that bee bricks are installed as standard on new-builds unless unfeasible.

 

3)            Agrees to officers undertaking further research on swift boxes as set out in paragraph 3.15 so that a report can be brought back to the next meeting of this committee with a view to installing as standard swift boxes/bricks on all suitable new-builds.

Minutes:

15.1      The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture that outlined the current and emerging planning policy framework that can support the incorporation of nature conservation features such as swift boxes and bee bricks and further considers the process required to ensure these features could be incorporated into more new developments where practically feasible. The report had been requested by the Committee following the submission of a Notice of Motion and deputation to its meeting in March 2019.

 

15.2      On behalf of the Conservative Group, Councillor Nemeth moved the following motion to amend recommend 2.2 and add a recommendation 2.3 as shown below in bold italicsand as struck through:

 

That the Committee:

 

2.2    Agrees to officers finalising and implementing the further actions set out in the report in paragraphs 3.13 and 3.14 in terms of seeking additional further guidance and introducing standard planning conditions so that, where appropriate, these nature conservation features can be secured as minimal net gains and/or ‘best practice’ through the council’s development management process so that bee bricks are installed as standard on new-builds unless unfeasible.

 

2.3     Agrees to officers undertaking further research on swift boxes as set out in paragraph 3.15 so that a report can be brought back to the next meeting of this committee with a view to installing as standard swift boxes/bricks on all suitable new-builds.

 

15.3      Introducing the motion, Councillor Nemeth explained that whilst he was broadly in support of the recommendations, they did not address the key issue. Referring to page 193, Councillor Nemeth explained that the policy left discretion and the measures proposed may get lost in discussions with developers. Councillor Nemeth stated that swift boxes and bee bricks should be a standard requirement of any development and rolled out immediately. Councillor Nemeth added that only implementing swift boxes in central areas of the city may miss the critical mass and a report to the next meeting would acknowledge the sense of urgency.

 

15.4      Councillor Mears formally seconded the motion.

 

15.5      Councillor Druitt enquired as to why the report had not suggested proceeding as quickly as possible.

 

15.6      The Planning Manager repleid that whilst bee bricks could be implemented quickly under a standard planning condition, the case for swift boxes was more complex. The Planning Manager explained that the understanding from the RSPB was that not all planning applications would be suitable. The Planning Manager stated that it was logical to prioritise the areas swifts were known to be loyal to on a ward by ward basis and more information was needed to that end before implementation.

 

15.7      The Chair then put the motion to the vote that passed.

 

15.8      The Chair then put the recommendations, as amended to the vote that passed.

 

15.9      RESOLVED- That the Committee:

 

1)            Notes the planning policy framework already in place (in terms of the adopted City Plan Part One) and that further policy is being prepared through City Plan Part Two to positively support the incorporation of swift boxes/bricks and bee bricks in suitable new development.

 

2)            Agrees to officers finalising and implementing the further actions set out in the report in paragraphs 3.13 and 3.14 so that bee bricks are installed as standard on new-builds unless unfeasible.

 

3)            Agrees to officers undertaking further research on swift boxes as set out in paragraph 3.15 so that a report can be brought back to the next meeting of this committee with a view to installing as standard swift boxes/bricks on all suitable new-builds.

Supporting documents:

 


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