Policy I4: Green and blue infrastructure


The Council will conserve and enhance biodiversity and will seek opportunities for habitat restoration and creation, particularly within and adjacent to Biodiversity Opportunity Areas (BOAs). The Council will produce a Green and Blue Infrastructure Supplementary Planning
Document (SPD) setting out how this approach will be implemented.

Proposals for development must demonstrate how they will deliver appropriate net gains in biodiversity. Where proposals fall within or adjacent to a BOA, biodiversity measures should support that BOA’s objectives. The SPD will set out guidance on how this can be achieved.

The designated sites in the following hierarchy are shown on the Policies Map or as subsequently updated:

  • European sites: Special Protection Areas (SPA) and Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)
  • National sites: Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
  • Local sites: Sites of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI) and Local Nature Reserves.

Permission will not be granted for development proposals unless it can be demonstrated that doing so would not give rise to adverse effects on the integrity of European sites, whether alone or in combination with other development. Any development with a potential impact on SPA or SAC sites will be subject to a Habitats Regulations Assessment.

Development will not be permitted within or adjacent to national sites unless it can be shown that doing so would not be harmful to the nature conservation interests of the site.

Permission will not be granted for proposals that are likely to materially harm the nature conservation interests of local sites unless clear justification is provided that the need for development clearly outweighs the impact on biodiversity.

Blue infrastructure

Waterways will be protected and enhanced. Development proposals that are likely to have an impact on waterways, including the River Wey catchment, must demonstrate how they will support the implementation of the Water Framework Directive and have followed guidance from the Environment Agency and Natural England on implementation of the Wey Catchment Plan and flood risk management.

Open space

Open space (encompassing all open space within urban areas, land designated as Open Space on the Policies Map and all land and water that provides opportunities for recreation and sport) will be protected from development in accordance with the NPPF.

Response: Object 

The Policy shows concern for conserving and enhancing biodiversity, which is welcome. We also note and welcome the intention to extend the principle beyond Biodiversity Opportunity Areas. However the current plan to build on large areas of countryside and to inset villages will have the opposite effect. The Policy appears therefore to be a box-ticking exercise with no real teeth to it. There is no mention of the value of wildlife gardening to biodiversity or the important role that larger gardens play in a village setting. There is no mention of the impact of the plan on food production, or monitoring the loss of agricultural land.


Sunday the 28th - Published by Normandy Action Group, 166 Glaziers Lane, Guildford GU3 2EB - with thanks to Keith Witham, Surrey County Councillor - Hostgator Coupon Template