05/07/2019 - Permalink

Shropshire Council’s ecology team highly commended

Related topics: Community / Planning

Shropshire Council’s ecology team is celebrating after being highly commended at the 2019 Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management Planning Authority of the Year Award, held on Thursday 27 June 2019 in London.

The prestigious award was given to the team for its work in taking a national lead on the issues surrounding ammonia and nitrogen deposition.

With recent research continuing to emphasise the impact that increased ammonia and nitrogen deposition has on habitats and species, the council has taken the lead on the ecological assessment of livestock units in the planning system.

It has meant that the council is the first authority to produce interim planning guidance on assessing the impacts of ammonia and nitrogen deposition on wildlife sites.

This ambitious guidance strives to improve the quality of planning applications, facilitating solutions in an ecologically-rich environment in line with new case law and existing legislation.

Ecology team award

Pictured with the certificate, from left to right: Sue Swales, Shropshire Council’s natural environment team leader; Karen Collier, Shropshire Council’s regulatory services operations manager, David Lindo “The Urban Birder”, and Nicola Stone, Shropshire Council’s planning ecologist.

Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, place planning and regulatory services, said:

“I’m so pleased that the team and their work has been recognised in this way – they should all be very proud of the difference that they make every day.

“We’ve previously relied on the national guidance and thresholds for ammonia published by the Environment Agency to be followed when applying for an environmental permit for intensive livestock units, published in 2012. However, since this guidance was issued, a number of changes have occurred.

“Shropshire has seen a rapid increase in the number of livestock units, particularly for poultry, and is now a hotspot for permitted and non-permitted sites compared with the rest of England.

“We already have high background levels of airborne ammonia and nitrogen deposition, and a large number of international wildlife sites that are sensitive to ammonia and nitrogen. This new guidance should help us to get the balance right.”