Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Saturday Market Place, King's Lynn PE30 5DQ. View directions

No. Item


Minutes from the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 263 KB


RESOLVED:                The Minutes of the Meeting held on 18 December 2023 were agreed as a correct record.


Members Present Under Standing Order 34


Councillors Devulapalli and Moriarty attended under standing order 34.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 131 KB




Urgent Business




To consider the recommendations of the Urban Wildlife Informal Working Group pdf icon PDF 236 KB

Additional documents:


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The Task Group was presented with a report which set out the recommendations of the Urban Wildlife Group:


Recommendations and associated comments from the Urban Wildlife Informal Working Group (UWIWG) 


            1. Encourage the use of bird boxes, bat boxes and hedgehog highways in new and existing Borough Council properties

            To investigate the possibility of adopting a policy of giving the option of installing swift and bat boxes, bee bricks and hedgehog highways in new developments. The group acknowledge that it would be difficult to insist that this was included in new developments, but feel that people should be given the option of having them provided. The group also encourage installation of items to promote urban wildlife in existing council facilities where appropriate.

            2. The Council to investigate providing wildflower seeds for redundant allotments and community orchards/gardens and encourage the planting of wildlife seeds in the community

            The Group would like the Council to give consideration to planting wildflower seeds in redundant areas such as unused allotments and community areas. They ask that the Council use pollinators and flowers that benefit wildlife where possible. Parishes could also be encouraged to plant redundant areas.

            3. The Council to encourage bird feeding stations and nest boxes in schools

This could involve the Men’s Shed who have indicated that they would be interested in assisting with the provision of nest boxes for schools.

            4. Support of a Nest Box Trail in King’s Lynn      

            This is an initiative by Julian Moulton and his idea is to locate a variety of nest boxes throughout King’s Lynn with a map and guide. Boxes could be located at playgrounds, public spaces and various buildings. This could be publicised by having a stand at town centre events.

            5. Produce literature advising how residents can help support their urban wildlife and promoting the nest box trail in King’s Lynn.

            This could include links to local organisations who are interested in promoting Urban Wildlife along with links to useful websites, details of the best types of plants to encourage urban wildlife and helpful hints and tips to support urban wildlife in their own gardens.

            6. Engage with local groups to participate in urban wildlife

            Organisations such as Men’s Shed, In Bloom and schools could be engaged to promote urban wildlife. Stands at events could promote the nest box trail and provide literature as mentioned in recommendation 5 above. Linking with recommendation 3 above, schools could be encouraged to become involved by promoting what they have done for urban wildlife, with the possibility of a competition. The Informal Working Group have also been approached by NVN (Nature Volunteer Network) who have offered to collect wild bird seed for bee highways in the Borough. They are careful only to collect 10-20% of the seed on any given wild plant. This is an example of a local organisation who wants to contribute and also a demonstration of the cooperation the Borough can  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Biodiversity Net Gain pdf icon PDF 2 MB


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Claire Wiggs, Senior ecologist gave a presentation (copy attached ) on Bio Diversity Net Gain. 


In discussing the presentation it was confirmed that it would come into force for larger developments in February, and for smaller ones in April.  It was not applicable for those which already had planning permission.  There were exceptions to the requirements.


With regard to the anti trashing element Councillor Dark asked if there was any funding for the monitoring for the ongoing monitoring required. He suggested it needed Councillor involvement.  Assistant Director S Ashworth suggested that future monitoring would have to be on a risk based approach and would also impact the Enforcement Team.  There would be some funding available, but discussions were ongoing with other authorities on the approach to be taken.


C Wiggs informed members that developers were being invited to come forward with land as a habitat bank.  Expressions of concern on the monitoring of those were raised.  The Chair indicated the Council would be looking at what of its own land could be used for that purpose. 


Councillor Bullen asked how the public would be able to engage if they suspected breaches.  C Wiggs explained that Natural England would have a net gain register with a map.  She acknowledged that it was early days in the process and implications etc would emerge once up and running as no councils had the answers yet. 


S Ashworth confirmed that the Planning Committee and planning agents were receiving training on the matter.  Bio Diversity Net Gain had been referred to as one of the most ambitious biodiversity schemes in the world, by Harvard University. 


The Chair thanked Senior Ecologist Claire Wiggs for the presentation.  The Task Group conformed they would like an update before the close of their work.


Biodiversity Duty


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Senior Ecologist Claire Wiggs gave a presentation on Biodiversity Duty.  She confirmed the Council had not met the 1 January deadline for this, which was the case with many local authorities.  It was necessary to have the required policies in place to comply, although there was still information and guidance awaited in order to fully comply.    She suggested that the Task Group could assist.  Executive Director G Hall indicated that the council could produce a plan by the deadline without the guidance.


Councillor Dark referred to discussions that other public bodies were having on the subject and suggested finding out what others were doing.


Councillor Bullen drew attention to the ambition behind the plan, and acknowledged that there was little resistance to it, although information was needed.  He hoped it would become the norm to embrace the ideals of bio diversity.


The Task Group noted the update.


Suggested item from Councillor Devulapalli


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Under standing order 34, Councillor Devulapalli asked to add a suggestion to the agenda for a bio diversity awareness raising project  for west Norfolk.  She suggested that the Council could sponsor a competition for private gardens, schools etc the council could issue certificates of achievement.  She informed members that she would be happy to bring forward volunteers to scope and organise it.  She asked that the Council’s communications team support its advertising to the public to raise awareness. She suggested that organisations such as the NWT could be involved.


Councillor Moriarty suggested that launching it in January 2025 would be a good time line in order for people to get involved and organise their gardens etc.


RESOLVED:   That the item come to the next meeting of the task group for discussion.


Date of the next meetings

To be confirmed.


4 March @ 4pm – this was subsequently changed to 7 March due to long planning agenda.

15 April 2024 @4pm

14 May 2024 @ 4pm

25 June 2024 @4pm