Planning and built development has a huge impact on Kent's wildlife and countryside. Kent Wildlife Trust works extensively with planners, developers and decision-makers to ensure development avoids damage to wildlife and wherever possible benefits the natural environment.

Kent Wildlife Trust engages proactively in the planning process across the County. Commenting on both Local Plans (forward strategic planning) and Development Management (planning applications) we seek to prevent negative impacts on wildlife, and particularly Local Wildlife Sites, and advocate design that benefits wildlife.

Although we are 'non-statutory' consultees, we are consulted on hundreds of planning applications every year, as our expertise is valued by the various local planning authorities. Unfortunately our resources are limited, so responses are prioritised according to wildlife impacts, following our Planning and Development Management Policy (that you can download below). We only comment on wildlife issues, and leave other issues, such as landscape, to those with the relevant remit and expertise.

We have written some guidance to help people respond to planning applications, called 'How to make comments on a planning application', as well as some General Planning Advice. They can both be downloaded at the bottom of the page.

Planning FAQ

Can I respond to planning applications myself?

Yes. Find out more about local planning with our General Planning Advice guide and read our tips on how to comment on a planning application. These documents can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

What can I do if I observe wildlife being harmed during construction works?

If you observe wildlife being harmed in Kent, or any action that might lead to wildlife being harmed, you can contact Kent Police Wildlife Crime Officers and CRIMESTOPPERS who work to tackle wildlife crime in Kent. Visit the Kent Police rural crime website.

You can also visit the Country Eye website and download the free crimestoppers Country Eye app to record and share information on a crime.

What can I do if I am concerned about an activity on a development site?

We recommend that you contact your Local Planning Authority. Try to provide them with as much information as you can about your concerns. Include the site location and any relevant planning history that you might be aware of.

What issues does Kent Wildlife Trust comment on?

Kent Wildlife Trust comments upon plans or policy that can impact upon wildlife. We cannot respond to matters that lie outside our expertise area, such as the landscape impact (visual appearance/character), residential amenity or traffic problems.

Does Kent Wildlife Trust comment on every wildlife aspect of every development?

Kent Wildlife Trust looks to influence planning at all levels. We focus on the protection and enhancement of habitats and habitat networks of village, town, County (for example Local Wildlife Sites), national and international importance.

We receive and assess a very large number of planning proposals and policies of potential interest. We comment on applications and policies that could have the greatest impact or benefits for wildlife.

Can I read Kent Wildlife Trust comments for myself?

Yes, all our comments are submitted in writing and up-loaded onto Councils’ Applications or policy websites. They are public documents and can be referred to and copied. If you are having difficulty finding one, contact us and we’ll email or post a copy to you.

What about neighbourhood planning?

Increasingly, Kent Wildlife Trust is asked to contribute to Neighbourhood Plans. Currently, we do not have additional resources to do this. We do recognise the importance of the planning process and we are actively considering how we might be able to resource this in future. We are preparing some basic guidance on how to protect and improve your local area for wildlife through a Neighbourhood Plan.

In the meantime, please do refer to these useful links:

and please contact our advice and consultancy team if you wish to use our services to support your neighbourhood plan.

Tell us about planning applications that concern you

We may not have been notified about certain applications by the local council. Let us know what species (plants and insects as well as mammals and birds) you have seen on your local development sites. This will help us determine the importance of the site and the priority we can give the case.

As our planning officers work part-time, we cannot guarantee an ‘on-demand’ response. The best way to contact us about a planning issue is via email and your enquiry will be passed onto the relevant planning officer.



FilenameFile size
How to make your comments on a planning application.pdf88.88 KB
General Planning Advice.pdf238.4 KB
KWT planning development management policy Nov15.pdf86.35 KB