RE: Biodiversity officers
Dear Caroline Day,
Thank you for your recent email asking Waltham Forest to appoint a full-time biodiversity officer.
The Council’s Nature Conservation Officer covers biodiversity for the Waltham Forest administrative area. We take a proactive approach to biodiversity and geological conservation, taking full account of our statutory obligations and their impact within the planning system. The Nature Conservation Officer is the internal consultee for planning applications within the authority and applications are properly scrutinised with our planners. Following careful consideration of applications appropriate protection and mitigation measures are put into place where pertinent and wherever possible enhancement measures in respect of biodiversity are included. Therefore biodiversity is given full, proper and appropriate consideration in all decision-making within the borough.
LBWF policies including the LBWF Biodiversity Action Plan, Development Management Policies Local Plan Adoption Version 36 Policy DM35 – Biodiversity and Geodiversity, give clear guidance with respect to Biodiversity in Waltham Forest along with the core strategy 8 Policy CS5- Enhancing Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity.
We have strong links and good working relationships particularly with Lea Valley Regional Park Authority and City Of London Conservators of Epping Forest, along with Natural England, and also work with (TCV) Trust for Conservation Volunteers & (LWT) London Wildlife Trust & Lea Valley bats as well as local Friends Groups.
Generally, the Council’s Grounds Maintenance & Arboricultural Contract Monitoring Officers are aware of the importance of biodiversity and where appropriate enhance through species selection for planting schemes in shrub beds, highway verges, also parks and open spaces owned by the authority. Furthermore schemes designed by the Council’s Strategic Parks & Open Spaces Officer will also enhance and further improve biodiversity on land managed by the Council where appropriate.
I trust this information is helpful but please do not hesitate to contact me again if you need particular clarification on any point.
Cllr Chris Robbins
Leader of the Council