Borough wide review of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation

Kingston Council has commissioned Land Use Consultants (LUC) to undertake an independent review of the borough’s Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs).

SINCs are non-statutory sites that are designated due to their importance for nature conservation. A number of wildlife areas across Kingston are already recognised as SINCs as they form vital components of the ecological network and green corridor in the borough.

A SINC designation raises awareness of a site’s importance for wildlife and biodiversity, particularly with regards to planning and land management decisions, and helps ensure they are afforded adequate protection by the planning system in London.

The review will provide the council with up-to-date information on existing SINCs along with recommendations on any revisions required to their status and boundaries.

The work will also include an assessment of other potential areas of land that could be awarded SINC status, to ensure our most important wildlife sites across the borough are all identified and protected.

Findings from the review will inform relevant planning policies in the emerging new Local Plan, ensuring that these sites are protected and negative impacts on sensitive biodiversity areas are avoided wherever possible. The review will also inform the preparation of the council’s Biodiversity Action Plan, supporting the effective management and enhancement of important wildlife sites.

Welcoming the commission, Councillor Rebekah Moll, Portfolio Holder for Planning said: 

'We live in an amazing borough that is growing all the time. As we develop our Local Plan we want to ensure that our 39 existing SINCs not only continue to be protected, but we are also investigating more sites to protect. This is an exciting opportunity to ensure that our local habitats are protected by the planning system.”

Councillor Hilary Gander, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainable Transport said:

“We are immensely proud of our natural heritage here in Kingston and aspire to become a leading borough in how we manage our local environment.”

 “We look forward to receiving the findings from this review which will help ensure that all of our important nature sites are protected, as well as identifying areas where biodiversity can be boosted. This information will play a major role in shaping the council’s new Biodiversity Action Plan, which will launch later this year.”

The LUC review will be published on the council’s website by the end of this year.