Ecology specialist will help our Local Plan be the greenest ever

Julia Nethercott

EHDC has recruited an in-house ecologist to help us create our greenest ever Local Plan. 

The Local Plan is our key planning policy document for areas of the district outside the South Downs National Park.  

As part of our commitment to combatting climate change, our Local Plan must make sure that new developments do not have a detrimental effect on the wider environment in East Hampshire. 

Julia Nethercott, EHDC’s newly-appointed Principal Ecologist, will help to make sure that the local environment remains rich in wildlife.   

She will help our planning policy team to write the robust policies we need to protect our most sensitive and ecologically important sites and species.  

The Local Plan must reflect new national requirements for Biodiversity Net Gain, made in the Environment Act, and also reflect the council’s determination to protect, enhance and restore biodiversity.  

Julia said: “Our emerging Local Plan will promote a net-zero carbon approach to development as well as protect and enhance East Hampshire’s rich and diverse natural environment.   

“The district is home to internationally important habitats for rare and vulnerable species of birds. The council has a statutory duty to ensure we look after important habitats and species in the district when delivering development.”  

The Local Plan sets planning rules for development which cover housing, business, infrastructure, health, community facilities and the environment. 

By providing better quality, greener developments, using new, carbon-reducing techniques we can limit our carbon emissions and prioritise net-zero. 

Biodiversity Net Gain – The Environment Act (2021) introduced Biodiversity Net Gain, designed to protect the natural environment and leave it in a measurably better state following building developments. By creating new habitats or enhancing existing ones, Biodiversity Net Gain can be delivered on site, off site or through a combination of both. It is important to have ecological expertise to make sure development proposals do not harm the district’s important natural heritage.