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Biodiversity Net Gain

From Monday 12 February 2024 all major applications must be accompanied by a Biodiversity Net Gain Assessment via the latest version of the DEFRA Biodiversity Metric spreadsheet. This must be supplied to make a valid submission.

The Outline and Full application validation checklists have been updated to reflect this.

Planning Application Amendments

In order to ensure timely decision-making for all our applicants, the planning department (Development Services) will not accept amendments to planning applications.  Once a planning application is made valid it will be publicly available on our Public Access webpages with full details of expected timescales for determination, within statutory timescales.

Please continue to monitor the Public Access webpages for updates including consultee responses to a planning application.

The following information is provided to help you with your submitting your planning application. If you have any specific questions regarding your site and requirements for the application you can contact the planning department on 01480 388425

Landscape details

Why do I need to provide information on existing and proposed landscape details?

  • We are required to consider the impact a development proposal may have on the landscape of the site, and its surroundings. The Local Development Framework and Acts of Parliament support this requirement.

  • In order to give due consideration to any proposal that affects the site, and to guarantee the efficient processing of applications, it is vital that the proposal can be fully understood. Existing landscape and the future landscape proposals associated with a particular development need to be clearly presented on a plan, or series of plans drawn up at a suitable scale. In some applications sketches and cross-sections will also be necessary to explain the proposals.

  • Landscape design is an essential part of any assessment of environmental quality.  A high quality scheme of hard and soft landscape can have great aesthetic and social benefits whilst at the same time encouraging wildlife and increasing biodiversity. A well-designed sustainable landscape scheme will help to fit a new development into its setting, so that it contributes to the local area. A poorly designed landscape scheme can detract from a development and adversely affect the community it forms a part of.

Information you need to provide


As a minimum the plans should be numbered, drawn at an appropriate metric scale, and clearly show the following information:

  • the address of the site

  • a north point

  • the metric scale used

  • a key explaining any symbols that have been used.

View an example of a simple planting plans and schedule [PDF, 0.2MB]

Existing site features: accurate location and extent of features within and near to the development site such as:

  • trees and other existing vegetation

  • type and height of all site boundaries such as brick wall, fencing, hedge

  • any changes in level including slopes, steps, mounds, ditches

  • any watercourses for example ponds, streams

  • all existing surface treatments such as lawn, driveway, hard standing

  • overhead power lines, poles

  • the outline of any buildings or structures.                                                      

Please note that all arboricultural recommendations, including tree surveys, should be carried out in accordance with BS 5837: Trees in Relation to Construction.

Landscape proposals: 

The following information should be provided as a minimum:

  • details of proposed alterations to existing features such as tree removals, alterations of boundaries, changes of level, earthworks and mounding of any kind (including details of height and spread)

  • position and details of tree protection measures.

  • location and depth of any new service trenches to be installed

  • any proposed new, permanent or temporary features including fences, street furniture, minor structures e.g bin stores, lighting, including information on materials and dimensions

  • detail and location of all new planting (see Planting information section below and view an example of a simple planting plans and schedule [PDF, 0.2MB]).

Planting information

How can I present the relevant planting information?

The relevant planting information can be given by combining plans and a key of symbols used with a Planting Schedule. This is usually set out as a table on the drawing - view an example of a simple planting plans and schedule  [PDF, 0.2MB]

The following information is essential:

  • For trees this information should include position, total number, exact species and variety. Stem circumference in centimetres, overall height, and whether bare rooted, root balled or container grown. Where container grown, the size/capacity of the container should be given

  • For shrubs and other plant material the information should include position, total number, exact species and cultivars. Overall height/size, pot size in litres if container grown or specified as appropriate. Density of planting expressed as a number of plants per square metre or distance between each plant

  • Grass or wild flower seeding - information about the mix of seed and supplier should be specified, with rates of sowing per m²

  • Turf - information about the quality of turf and where appropriate the mix

  • Any other relevant information should also be given. This could include details of any mulch material and its depth, tree support systems, tree guards, root barriers, ground treatment, fertilisers or any soil ameliorates and rabbit protection

  • Time of year that planting is to be carried out

  • Details of all maintenance operations and their frequency during an agreed establishment period for the planting

  • A long-term landscape management plan if appropriate

Do I need to employ a professional?

It is recommended that a qualified landscape professional carry out the design and presentation of landscape proposals.

Further advice

The Huntingdonshire Design Guide and the Supplementary Planning Guidance “Trees and Development” provide further information and a checklist of basic submission requirements; both of these are available from Development Services.                                                         

Under certain circumstances soft landscaping schemes, if not submitted with the application, will still need to be approved prior to any start on site. This may well delay your progress so we strongly advise you to submit information for early consideration, along with your initial application.

All enquiries should be emailed to or you can call our customer service department on 01480 388424.