Environmental audit

green trees in the ecological buffer area in the building area "Am Krausacker" in Troisdorf-Bergheim enlarge picture

Environmental audit in land-use planning

Planning procedures are required to have checked environmental compatibility before any encroachment into the countryside and the natural landscape, in order to expand settlement areas for example. Land-use planning includes an environmental audit, which is a formal process in accordance with the German Federal Building Code (Baugesetzbuch). The purpose of the audit is to ensure a careful balance between environmental concerns and the provisions of nature conservation laws. The environmental implications of a planned development are thus identified and evaluated, with the help of expert reports in most cases.

Documentation in the environmental report

The findings of the environmental audit feed into the environmental report and then into the development plan in the form of actual regulations designed to prevent, minimise and, if necessary, compensate for any inevitably detrimental impact on people and the environment. The environmental report forms a separate part of the statement of grounds for the land-use plan.

Compensatory measures and species protection

Firstly, if at all possible, any necessary compensatory measures are duly planned in areas of encroachment. A typical compensatory measure is the greening of new suburbs. Concerns relating to species conservation laws are monitored independently of impact mitigation regulations. Any measures deemed necessary under species conservation laws must be implemented prior to construction.

Official audit not always necessary

An environmental audit is not required in simplified development planning procedures. A fast-track procedure, which does not normally provide for a formal environmental audit, can be used for urban development projects of limited size designed to serve development in built-up areas. Waiving the environmental audit simultaneously compensates for the impact made by these development plans under nature conservation law. Built-up development areas tend to have very little open space, so they can be made ready for building with only minor additional encroachment into the landscape, in a similar way to infill. The ensuing ecological gains are justification enough for waiving separate compensatory measures for building plans designed to serve development in built-up areas. This assessment complies with the European regulatory framework adopted in the Federal Building Code.

part of the register of ecological compensation areas enlarge picture

Register of ecological compensation areas

Since it is often not possible to compensate for encroachment by creating biotopes of a higher quality on the site itself, the city and other planning bodies also have the option of doing so on suitable alternative sites in another part of city.

Development of interlinked outdoor biotope structures

These sites serve the development of interlinked biotope structures and have a bearing on landscape planning carried out by the Rhein-Sieg district with a view to an interconnected network of open spaces. The city of Troisdorf is therefore committed to drawing up a compensation area concept for its urban area and to providing a register of sites allocated for intervention to the Rhein-Sieg district in its capacity as the Lower Landscape Authority. This register of compensation areas mainly contains compensation measures within the urban area that are not defined within the scope of a development plan. This guarantees that no sites are put to multiple use. At the same time, third-party compensation areas are registered for information purposes only, e.g. compensation areas earmarked by Deutsche Bahn for the construction of the new ICE Cologne-Rhine/Main line.

Information provides:

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employee Ms C. Schubert
adress Stadt Troisdorf
Amt für Stadtplanung und Bauordnung
Kölner Straße 176
53840 Troisdorf

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