Planning services and advice

Planning and wildlife advice

Houses c. Ben Hall/2020VISION

New developments can create both threats and opportunities for local wildlife. Working with planning authorities and influencing local, regional and national planning policy is one of the Trust’s most important activities.

The planning system exists to control development, ensuring the right sort positive/favourable development occurs in the right location while preventing inappropriate planning.

Major developments in our region

High Speed Rail (HS2)

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Railway c. Adrian Royston


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Mersey barrage scheme

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Common ringed plover c. Dave Appleton

Great Crested Newt licensing in Cheshire

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Great crested newt c. Kevin Caster

Planning for wildlife

Cheshire Wildlife Trust gives wildlife a voice by:

  • Responding to major development and infrastructure projects/strategic planning consultations, such as local Development Frameworks, Local Transport Plans, and Minerals & Waste Plans, to ensure the appropriate policies are in place to protect wildlife.
  • Commenting on planning applications where there is potential for significant negative effects to wildlife or where there are opportunities to secure and create new opportunities for wildlife.
  • Commenting on planning applications in which the proposed developments have the potential to harm or enhance the ecological network of Cheshire Wildlife Trust reserves, Local Wildlife Sites and statutorily protected sites.
  • Responding to developments which threaten habitats and species of conservation importance as listed on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) and Cheshire Region BAP.
  • Providing advice to, and consulting with; planners, developers, consultants, members of the public and other key stakeholders.

If you are a planning practitioner, we have developed a guide with the Town & Country Planning Association. The guide is designed to offer advice on green infrastructure and how biodiversity can be enhanced and protected through the planning system.

Our planning responses

South Macclesfield Development site

Planning guidance

Our advice on tackling planning and development that might affect wildlife in your community.

"Proposals are considered as a whole, taking in both short and long-term effects on biodiversity and the landscape"

Cheshire Wildlife Trust handles planning applications according to the individual circumstances in each case. Proposals are considered as a whole, taking into account both short and long term effects on biodiversity and the landscape. The planning system requires the local planning authority to seek a net gain for biodiversity from every new development, and we expect/aspire to no exceptions to this.

We endeavour to keep a high profile in the planning system, working on large scale strategic planning, and development control. However we cannot respond to every small-scale planning application, so, if you know of a development proposal which has overlooked local wildlife, why not get involved? We have created some fact sheets to help you understand the planning process which are available for download.

For further information please contact our planning and policy officer at or call: 01948 820728

If you are concerned about a development in your area then take a look at our advice sheets below on tackling planning and development that might affect wildlife in your community.

Local Wildlife Sites

Wildlife site c. Terry Whittaker/2020VISION

If you think a developer is in breach of planning regulations in a way that threatens wildlife contact Natural England (Crewe offices 0300 060 2922).

We also offer advice to developers and land management services through our ecological consultancy Cheshire Ecological Services

In these challenging times our work will still continue to defend local wildlife

We can’t do this without your support so please donate what you can.