Draft South Pennine Moors SPA/SAC Planning Framework Supplementary Planning Document
1. The Supplementary Planning Document
Purpose of this SPD
1.1 This South Pennine Moors Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) provides the information necessary to enable planning officers and developers to understand necessary steps to ensure compliance with the Habitats Regulations 2017, as amended ('the Habitats Regulations').
1.2 The South Pennine Moors are designated in accordance with European legislation, in recognition of their wildlife interest of international importance. Any proposals for development around the European sites (within 7km) pose risks that need to be addressed before planning permission can be granted. The planning policy requirement for developer contributions and other checks are found within the adopted Bradford Core Strategy Policy SC8: Protecting the South Pennine Moors, and this document provides further detail as to why these are in place and how they should be implemented.
1.3 A competent authority should only give effect to a plan or authorise/undertake a project after having ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of the European site. This means that in the absence of certainty, the plan or project should not normally proceed (subject to the further exceptional tests set out within the legislation).
1.4 Guidance (Tyldesley et al., 2020) is clear that, to be taken into account, at the appropriate stages, all 'mitigation measures' should be effective, reliable, timely, guaranteed to be delivered and as long-term as they need to be to achieve their objectives.
1.5 Additional new growth within 7km of the designated site boundary has the potential to have impacts in relation to urban effects, loss/deterioration of supporting habitats and increased recreation pressure. The Council must secure adequate protection for the South Pennine Moors in accordance with the legislation and must therefore put in place measures to prevent any deterioration of the wildlife interest of the moors that might otherwise occur with increased recreation pressure. By developing an approach strategically, this SPD provides a solution through an integrated suite of avoidance and mitigation measures that are supported by comprehensive evidence and experience in part gained from other European site mitigation strategies.
1.6 The SPD is therefore a solution to the legislative duties placed on Bradford Council as the competent authority, and is an enabling strategy, unblocking potential HRA issues at the individual development project level where recreation pressure is difficult to mitigate on a piecemeal basis because it relies on a suite of integrated activities.