ADD2000 Review of biodiversity habitat targets

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
24 June 2016
Decision by: 
Stewart Murray, Assistant Director of Planning

Executive summary

The current London Plan targets for biodiversity habitats have not been reviewed or updated since 2008. Government guidance in the National Planning Policy Framework requires the planning system to maintain and enhance areas of biodiversity importance in the London Plan. 
The forthcoming review of the London Plan will be required to provide updated targets.  Specialist environmental consultancies have the necessary expertise to undertake this work.  Approval is sought to appoint an appropriate consultancy.


That the Assistant Director of Planning approves expenditure of up to £20,000 to procure by competitive tender external consultants to assess progress, identify data and review the biodiversity habitats targets of the London Plan.


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    This is a new study and seeks a budget of up to £20,000. This budget was derived at after consultation with colleagues in the Environment Team (Urban Greening) who advised this was a realistic sum for the work required.

1.2    Government guidance to planning authorities is set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The NPPF requires the Mayor to set out targets for the creation and enhancement of land for nature conservation. It will be necessary to appoint specialist environmental consultants, as GLA officers do not have the capacity to undertake this work.   

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    Consultants will be required to produce a report that includes: a) a review and update of the current 2008 habitat targets in the London Plan; b) recommendations for potential future ecological or biodiversity targets that can be effectively monitored, and; c) a methodology for determining, monitoring and reviewing future ecological or biodiversity targets. 


Equality comments

3.1    This work is not expected to have any equality impacts. Ensuring that the London Plan habitat targets are up to date and being delivered ensures all Londoners have access to high quality natural environments.


Other considerations

a) key risks and issues 
4.1    The contract will be managed in line with standard GLA risk management procedures. If the work is not commissioned it is possible that the forthcoming review of the London Plan will fail to ensure sufficient land is set aside for biodiversity, preventing the delivery of Mayoral aspirations on nature conservation.    
b) links to Mayoral strategies and priorities
4.2    This study will provide evidence on a specific land use, which will inform the implementation and review of the London Plan. It will support the emerging Mayoral Environmental Strategy, as well as the London Plan. It will provide evidence to London boroughs on the amount of land to allocate for biodiversity habitats in the preparation of local plans and in partnership working with the GLA in developing Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks.
c) impact assessments and consultations.
4.3    The work the consultants will do will be guided by the Specification of Requirements (attached below) and a steering group of GLA officers from the Environment (Urban Greening) and Planning Teams.

Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for expenditure of £20,000 to procure external consultants to update biodiversity habitat targets. The cost will be met from the Planning 2016-17 London Plan Programme budget. All the delivery and spend will take place within 2016-17.


Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procurement of contract

June 2016

Delivery Start Date

July 2016

Delivery End Date

October 2016

Project Closure:

November 2016


Appendices and supporting papers



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