Planning Policy News

Council Response to Government consultation on the National Planning Policy Framework

Read the council’s response to Government’s latest consultations on the National Planning Policy Framework


Thanet has a rich archaeological landscape that is largely due to its origins as an island and its close proximity to Europe which led to it becoming a gateway to England for early history.  This has  resulted in a unique archaeological character ranging from Palaeolithic, Roman, Anglo Saxons, the rise of Christianity, mediaeval and to more recently, WW2 and associated infrastructure.  In addition, the coastal nature of the district means there is a rich maritime heritage and archaeological potential particularly associated with shipwrecks most notably around the Goodwin Sands.

The Thanet Archaeological Landscape Mapping Project is an exciting project to improve and update the archaeological information held for the District.  It is being funded and led by Historic England in partnership with Kent County Council and Thanet District Council. For more information please see the link below.

Thanet Archaeological Landscape Mapping Project


Issue 1 – October 2023 (PDF, 11.0 MB)

Issue 2 – March 2024 (PDF, 14.4 MB)


Biodiversity Net Gain is a way of ensuring development has a measurable positive impact on biodiversity by comparing the biodiversity value of the site pre-development with the biodiversity value of the site post development.

The Environment Act November 2021 mandates the provision of 10% Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) on the majority of development sites for 30 years.  This came into force on 12 February 2024  for major applications and on 02 April 2024 for small site applications and  applies to outline, full and temporary applications.  From this date major development (unless otherwise exempt) will have to deliver net gains for biodiversity leading to positive outcomes for nature, better places for local communities and more consistent and transparent requirements for developers. Further information is available on the Defra website. The exempt developments are set out in the regulations.  Planning permission can now only be granted where a 10% gain is made as this is a mandatory requirement.

The council has a dedicated Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) information page which lists current regulations and guidance.

The Environment Act 2021 strengthened the biodiversity duty placed on public authorities (by section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006). This requires local authorities to consider what they can do to conserve and enhance biodiversity.  A public authority must:

  1. Consider what it can do to conserve and enhance biodiversity.

  2. Agree policies and specific objectives based on its consideration.

  3. Act to deliver these policies and achieve the objectives specified.

The First Consideration Report of what actions the Council can take has been produced.  This first report is essentially a stock check of  what actions the Council has taken and identifies future actions and policies to improve and enhance biodiversity.

Further information can be found in the Government guidance – Reporting your Biodiversity Duty and Complying with the biodiversity duty.


The Environment Act 2021 introduces a statutory requirement for the preparation of Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) to set out priorities and propose actions to halt the decline of and help nature recover. As part of this process the  Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has appointed ‘responsible authorities’ to lead the preparation of the strategy for each  of the 48 areas identified.  For Kent and Medway, Kent County Council has been appointed the responsible authority and has started preliminary work on the Making Space for Nature project, see below.

Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS)

Making Space for Nature in Kent and Medway will work with partners and stakeholders to collaboratively establish shared priorities for the delivery of nature recovery and environmental improvements, in order to create a network of wildlife-rich places across the county. This local nature recovery strategy is one of 48 – together these will cover the whole of England, with no gaps or overlaps, to deliver the government’s commitment to ending the decline of nature and support its recovery.  Kent County Council is the Responsible Authority for developing the county’s Nature Recovery Strategy and over the next 18 months the Making Space for Nature project team will develop the county’s strategy. This will create a local habitat map that identifies areas of importance for biodiversity and areas that could become of importance. It will also develop a statement of biodiversity priorities, which draws on the features of Kent’s biodiversity, and identifies potential measures for nature recovery.  The Kent and Medway Local Nature Recovery Strategy is a strategy for everyone – it will shape what our nature and landscape will look like in years to come and deliver a network of wildlife rich places across Kent and Medway for all to enjoy and benefit from.  The development of the Strategy will be locally led and collaborative – the project will work with those that own and manage the land; those that influence how biodiversity is protected and enhanced; those that use and depend on nature’s services; and those that inform and make decisions. By being informed by stakeholders’ priorities, data, information and knowledge, we will create a strategy that presents a plan for joined-up action to recover our county’s nature.  For more information about the project and details of how you can become involved see https://www.makingspacefornaturekent.org.uk/

Over the course of the project, a series of surveys will be run, so the team can directly hear as many views as possible as work on Making Space for Nature in Kent & Medway progresses and the Strategy takes shape.  Currently the project wants to hear why the county’s nature is important to you – see https://www.makingspacefornaturekent.org.uk/get-involved/


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