A new analysis of the Government’s White Paper, Planning for the Future, has found that as things stand, the proposed reforms will increase threats to nature in England and do little to create better homes and communities for wildlife and people.
Based on their analysis, the Wildlife Trusts are calling on the government to commit to five principles to be applied to future planning to ensure that reforms address the climate and ecological crises and people’s need for nature in their area can tackle. One of these principles would, for the first time, protect new land used for nature recreation. To this end, the Wildlife Trusts propose a new protection mechanism Wild belt.
Craig Bennett, executive director of The Wildlife Trusts, says:
“We are in a climate and environmental crisis and we cannot afford to lose more wild animals. We need a new project speed for nature. We have to keep the environmental protection that we have – but even that is not enough. Protection needs to be strengthened and government needs to take a big step to help nature recover everywhere. The new planning reforms currently propose an algorithmic system that depends on nonexistent data. This is a system that causes nature to fail and lead to more losses.
Yellowhammer, Copyright Glyn Sellors, from the Surfbirds Galleries
“There is evidence that healthy communities need nature and the government needs to set up a nature restoration network in each of their proposed zones, whether it is growth, regeneration or protection. We propose five principles to ensure that the planning system helps nature, and we want a bold new label that protects new land that is being restored – we call this the wilderness. “