Natural environment

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How can we enhance biodiversity and help everyone access parks, green and open spaces?


Access to nature is important and it can improve health and wellbeing and, as we have seen over the past year, offers us opportunities for social contact.


It is also important to protect and support our biodiversity (the different animals, plants and microorganisms that coexist in particular habitats) in the borough as flourishing biodiversity can help contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.


The Government expects local planning authorities to identify, promote and improve biodiversity, and support wider ecological connectivity in their area.


Similarly, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) expects development plans to identify, map and safeguard areas of wildlife-rich habitats and wider ecological networks in their area. This means conserving and enhancing biodiversity in all our functions.


The Mayor of London wants to make London the greenest city in the world by 2050. Protecting and enhancing biodiversity and green infrastructure in Public Open Spaces (POS), Sites of Importance for Natural Conservation (SINC), and existing and new developments will help achieve this. We need to plan for new green spaces wherever possible while enhancing the use and accessibility of the existing ones.


The London Plan sets out desirable maximum distances that London residents should have to travel to a Public Open Space. Areas outside of these distances are classified as Areas of Deficiency (AOD) and they require special attention from boroughs. We are expected to find ways to reduce this deficiency.


How could the new Local Plan help?


Protecting and enhancing our natural environment will be a key priority of the new Local Plan. As we plan for the expected growth, high-quality, connected open spaces become even more important so we can all continue to travel around sustainably.

The Local Plan will protect and enhance biodiversity by:

  • designating a network of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs), and managing development impacts on protected sites and priority habitats and species;
  • promoting opportunities to create habitats and features that are of particular relevance and benefits to the local areas; promoting greater access to nature (where appropriate), particularly within areas of identified deficiency;
  • providing planning policy protection to habitats and species commensurate to their grade and contribution to the wider ecological networks;
  • ensuring planning policy resists developments that would result in the loss or deterioration of designated SINCs, priority habitats and species;
  • requiring developments that are adjacent to or near protected habitats and species to consider any potential impact from noise and lighting on biodiversity;
  • introducing a policy buffer zone between Hogsmill River and any proposed developments prevents the discharge of surface water and sewage into Hogsmill River.

To learn more about the challenges and opportunities Kingston is facing and how it can enhance biodiversity and help everyone access parks, green and open spaces please read our Summary Document: Natural Environment.

To give your thoughts and feedback on the Natural Environment in Kingston, please answer the questions below.

If you have any difficulties with accessing any of the materials or simply need help with responding to questions and leaving comments you can:

  • email the Strategic Planning Team at localplan@kingston.gov.uk

  • or call us on on our FREEPHONE number: 0800 008 6309

How can we enhance biodiversity and help everyone access parks, green and open spaces?


Access to nature is important and it can improve health and wellbeing and, as we have seen over the past year, offers us opportunities for social contact.


It is also important to protect and support our biodiversity (the different animals, plants and microorganisms that coexist in particular habitats) in the borough as flourishing biodiversity can help contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.


The Government expects local planning authorities to identify, promote and improve biodiversity, and support wider ecological connectivity in their area.


Similarly, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) expects development plans to identify, map and safeguard areas of wildlife-rich habitats and wider ecological networks in their area. This means conserving and enhancing biodiversity in all our functions.


The Mayor of London wants to make London the greenest city in the world by 2050. Protecting and enhancing biodiversity and green infrastructure in Public Open Spaces (POS), Sites of Importance for Natural Conservation (SINC), and existing and new developments will help achieve this. We need to plan for new green spaces wherever possible while enhancing the use and accessibility of the existing ones.


The London Plan sets out desirable maximum distances that London residents should have to travel to a Public Open Space. Areas outside of these distances are classified as Areas of Deficiency (AOD) and they require special attention from boroughs. We are expected to find ways to reduce this deficiency.


How could the new Local Plan help?


Protecting and enhancing our natural environment will be a key priority of the new Local Plan. As we plan for the expected growth, high-quality, connected open spaces become even more important so we can all continue to travel around sustainably.

The Local Plan will protect and enhance biodiversity by:

  • designating a network of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs), and managing development impacts on protected sites and priority habitats and species;
  • promoting opportunities to create habitats and features that are of particular relevance and benefits to the local areas; promoting greater access to nature (where appropriate), particularly within areas of identified deficiency;
  • providing planning policy protection to habitats and species commensurate to their grade and contribution to the wider ecological networks;
  • ensuring planning policy resists developments that would result in the loss or deterioration of designated SINCs, priority habitats and species;
  • requiring developments that are adjacent to or near protected habitats and species to consider any potential impact from noise and lighting on biodiversity;
  • introducing a policy buffer zone between Hogsmill River and any proposed developments prevents the discharge of surface water and sewage into Hogsmill River.

To learn more about the challenges and opportunities Kingston is facing and how it can enhance biodiversity and help everyone access parks, green and open spaces please read our Summary Document: Natural Environment.

To give your thoughts and feedback on the Natural Environment in Kingston, please answer the questions below.

If you have any difficulties with accessing any of the materials or simply need help with responding to questions and leaving comments you can:

  • email the Strategic Planning Team at localplan@kingston.gov.uk

  • or call us on on our FREEPHONE number: 0800 008 6309

  • Please provide feedback on how we can enhance biodiversity and help everyone access parks, green and open spaces by answering the questions below:

    Complete Form
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Page last updated: 17 August 2021, 10:03