Biodiversity and Planning

What you need to consider when planning a development that may affect important sites for wildlife or protected species.

The council has a statutory duty as the local Planning Authority to consider the conservation of biodiversity when making decisions on planning applications. This includes considering the safeguarding of species protected by law which includes:

What you need to do

If your Preliminary Ecological Assessment Report (PEAR) concludes that your project will have negligible ecological impacts, no mitigation is required and no further surveys are necessary, you should submit the report along with your planning application. 

This should also state the Baseline Biodiversity Unit Score as per the Defra Biodiversity Metric external link to demonstrate negligible impacts.

The PEAR must:

Most applications will require an Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) which will clearly demonstrate Baseline and Post Development Biodiversity Unit scores and delivery of Net Gain (we encourage applications demonstrating a 10% Net Gain).

The EcIA must:

See the Leeds Biodiversity local requirements template for further information about when you may need to carry out a full EcIA:

Please note that we will only accept ecology reports which meet the standard set out by the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.

Net gain for biodiversity

We've created guidance for developers on achieving net gain for biodiversity.

Bat surveys

Use the Bat Alert Layer in combination with the Guidance flow diagram to determine whether you need to carry out a bat survey as part of your planning application.

Surveys must adhere to the Minimum standards for bat surveys in West Yorkshire or, if you are planning a small or household development between October and April, please refer to the Bat surveys out of season flow diagram.

Bats and birds - enhancement features

For biodiversity enhancements there is special guidance for providing bat roost and bird nest features as part of new developments in Leeds – see our guidance for more information:

Wind turbines

West Yorkshire Ecology has guidance around wind turbine developments in relation to bats and birds.

Designated sites and habitats in Leeds

Our interactive map contains information about designated nature conservation sites and the Leeds Habitat Network.

Natural environment map External link

For detailed information of Designated or Priority Habitats or Protected or Priority Species, please consult the West Yorkshire Ecology Service external link - there will be a cost to cover any data requests.

Use this form to give us your comments. Do not use it to give us personal information - please contact us if you need to get in touch.