Planning advice

Planning advice

Photo by Katrina Martin/2020Vision

With ever increasing development pressures across our three counties, we have to ensure that wildlife and ecological networks are fully considered within the planning system.  

Inappropriate development can have a significant impact on wildlife, while sympathetic planning minimises harm and can help protect, enhance and even create new habitats, delivering valuable biodiversity enhancements. Our planning role is, therefore, about promoting positive outcomes as well as fighting potentially harmful proposals.

BBOWT gives wildlife a voice by: 

  • responding to strategic planning consultations, such as Local Plans, ensuring appropriate policies are in place,
  • commenting on planning applications where there is potential for significant impacts on wildlife, or where there is significant opportunity to make gains for wildlife,
  • providing advice to, and/or consulting with, local planning authorities, developers and their consultants, other NGOs and statutory agencies,
  • providing advice to members of the public.

What BBOWT does

BBOWT responds to a selection of key planning applications and policy documents. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to respond to every planning application that may affect wildlife in the three counties. The Trust has, therefore, adopted a strategic approach to allow efficient use of limited resources focusing on applications that impact on designated sites or the Trust’s nature reserves, selected large applications involving hundreds or thousands of homes, large-scale infrastructure/development projects, and Local Plans. 

BBOWT also works in partnership with other national and local organisations in the three counties to develop strategies and systems that help in making the case for wildlife in planning.

What the public can do

Note: we are updating our range of Guidance Notes about planning. The new versions will be available soon. In the meantime, you may find the document links below useful.

What developers and planners can do

Developers and planners may, in particular, find the Biodiversity and Planning guidance documents useful (see links below). These are aimed at planners, developers and environmental consultants, and were produced by BBOWT in association with county councils, environmental records centres and Natural England.

The guidance documents map out local biodiversity, and combine planning policy and legislation with information on local wildlife. This will help to identify when, how and where biodiversity should be protected and enhanced by the planning system. 

The Homes for People and Wildlife document sets out how housing can be built in a nature-friendly way and ensure that biodiversity forms an integral part of developments.

Contact us

For more information please contact us on 01865 775476 or email us

Find out more about BBOWT's work regarding large infrastructure projects in our area

High speed two

HS2 graphic by Helen Walsh

Nature matters

High Speed Two

Find out more
Map showing priority habitats on the OxCam Expressway corridors
Nature Matters

Oxford to Cambridge Expressway

Find out more


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