Planning & Development

How to take nature into account, whether you’re a resident, developer, local authority planner, or ecological consultant

Oxfordshire’s Nature

Oxfordshire has a diverse geology crossed by eight river systems creating a gentle yet complex landscape. It supports a wide variety of habitats, from fragrant chalk grasslands scented with wild to thyme to beech woodlands filled with bluebells; from pockets of damp reedy fen and acid grassland to marshy meadows full of birds. It is home to many rare and threatened plants and animals and has a high proportion of locally, nationally and internationally important sites; 38 Conservation Target Areas (CTAs), 7 Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), 111 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and 472 Local Wildlife Sites.

Check out our information about Oxfordshire’s landscape, geology, and biodiversity for a useful overview of the county.     

Planning Guidance

New developments have the potential to be good for wildlife if they are designed well. Check out our curated Guidance on Urban and Built Environment

Oxfordshire Local Nature Partnership has worked with partners to:

Develop Biodiversity Net Gain Principles to support Oxfordshire's Local Planning Authorities in delivering high quality biodiversity net gain.

Support the Local Planning authorities to adopt the Green Infrastructure Standards created by Natural England.

Developed a Local Plan Checklist to enable the partnership to quickly and consistently engage with strategic plans and strategies such as Local Plans.

Data & Evidence

Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre (TVERC) collect, analyse, and share geodiversity and biodiversity information in Oxfordshire to help people make sound decisions about how to develop and manage land sustainably and where to direct wildlife conservation work.

Request a data search
from TVERC for the most up-to-date data about species, habitats and wildlife sites in Oxfordshire.

Share your data with TVERC to ensure your records are used in local decision-making. The best way to protect nature BEFORE a planning application, policy or spatial plan is developed, is to ensure you have shared wildlife sightings and habitat information with TVERC.

Farm Clusters Planning Consultations

Wild Oxfordshire doesn't respond to consultations or petitions, but we are keen to raise awareness and empower more people to engage with and respond to consultations should they wish to.

As an individual, you can help protect nature by responding to planning consultations via your local planning authority planning portal. The more individual responses a planning authority receives, the more powerful our collective voice for nature will be.

We include information about current consultations on our monthly environmental Bulletin, so sign up on our website to receive these.

You may wish to subscribe to the CPRE Oxfordshire newsletter to hear about how you can support their campaigns If you are interested in what environmental NGOs are saying about national consultations, then check out the Wildlife and Countryside Link website.

Several organisations have useful guidance on how to respond to consultations to ensure your voice has the maximum impact:-    
CPRE -              

The organisations which respond to planning consultations are:
Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)  

As a community you may also wish to ensure you have a Neighbourhood Plan which have legal force that can protect your Parish from unwanted development. Neighbourhood Plans are vital to protect your green spaces and wildlife friendly areas as they can prevent harmful development to these areas.

Several farmer clusters have been set up around Oxfordshire. For more information on Farmer Clusters and how you could get involved visit:

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