East Hampshire District Council has recruited an in-house ecologist to help it create its greenest Local Plan. 

The Local Plan is its planning policy document for areas outside the South Downs National Park. As part of its commitment to combat climate change, the Local Plan must ensure new developments do not have a detrimental effect on the wider environment. 

Principal ecologist Julia Nethercott will help ensure the local environment remains rich in wildlife. She will help the planning policy team write robust policies to protect the most sensitive and ecologically important sites and species.

The Local Plan must reflect new national requirements for biodiversity net gain, made in the Environment Act 2021, and the council’s determination to protect, enhance and restore biodiversity.

Julia said: “Our emerging Local Plan will promote a net-zero carbon approach to development as well as protect and enhance East Hampshire’s rich and diverse natural environment. The district is home to internationally important habitats for rare and vulnerable species of birds.

“The council has a statutory duty to ensure we look after important habitats and species in the district when delivering development.”