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The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report states that “Everyone in the world depends on nature and ecosystem services to provide the conditions for a decent, healthy, and secure life.”
The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 places a duty on all public bodies, including planning authorities, to further the conservation of biodiversity in undertaking their functions.
Fife is fortunate to have a wealth of fantastic habitats, from its stunning coastline of cliffs and sand dunes, to the blustery heathland of the Lomond Hills. These habitats support a huge amount of wildlife. In fact, over 10,000 different species of plants and animals have been found in the kingdom. This tapestry of habitats, and the plants and animals that they support, together make up biodiversity - the rich variety of life on earth.
Biodiversity plays a vital role in our everyday life. It sustains the ecosystems that provide us with food, fuel, clean water, health and wealth. For instance:
Fife’s Local Development Plan aims to ensure:
Planning policy safeguards Fife’s natural heritage through the protection of priority habitats, species and habitat networks of wildlife sites and corridors, watercourses, wetlands, landscape features and open space, some of which may not fall within designated sites.
Thoughtful development design can deliver high quality, successful places that protect and enhance natural heritage assets and biodiversity. However, without care poorly sited and designed development can affect species and habitats and lead to habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.
Development proposals must provide an assessment of the potential impact on natural heritage and biodiversity and include proposals for the enhancement of natural heritage and access assets, as detailed in Making Fife’s Places Supplementary Guidance.
Other useful sources of information to assist with site assessments