Last edited 27 Jul 2015

Natural England


[edit] Introduction

Natural England is an executive, non-departmental public body responsible for advising the government on the natural environment. It was established in October 2006 to replace the Countryside Agency, English Nature and the Rural Development Service.

The Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 defines the purpose of Natural England as to:

ensure that the natural environment is conserved, enhanced and managed for the benefit of present and future generations, thereby contributing to sustainable development”.

As an organisation, Natural England covers the whole of England extending up to 12 nautical miles out to sea and provides a range of specialist advice at the local and national level. It works closely with many partners including national and local government, businesses, civil society groups and other agencies.

[edit] Responsibilities of Natural England

Natural England is responsible for:

  • Advising on the protection of the marine environment in inshore waters.
  • Assisting farmers and land managers to safeguard wildlife and landscapes.
  • Advising on planning matters and issuing wildlife licences.
  • Enhancing public access to the coast.
  • Managing the National Nature Reserve network and providing support for National Trails.
  • Running habitat creation or restoration projects.
  • The provision of evidence to help inform decisions affecting the natural environment.

[edit] Priorities of Natural England

The Corporate Plan for 2014 to 2019 sets out the vision for the future of the organisation. The priorities within this time period are:

[edit] Supporting sustainable development

Natural England plays a key role in advising on planning matters and are statutory consultees on certain types of developments. It is possible to undertake pre-application discussions with Natural England in advance of an application being submitted. Initial advice is offered free of charge and further advice can be provided on a charged basis.

[edit] Discretionary Advice Service

A Discretionary Advice Service is offered to developers under the Town and Country Planning Act (1990), the Planning Act (2008) and the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009). Advice is offered on development likely to effect:

Discretionary advice is also offered for developments that result in significant (more than 5ha)biodiversity benefit.

Advice can be sought at the pre-application, post-consent and pre-determination stages of a project.

[edit] Standing Advice

Natural England has published standing advice to offer competent authorities assistance in formulating risk-based decisions without consultation. It is available for a range of protected species, plants and ancient woodlands from the Natural England website.

[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

[edit] External references