Rewilding the planning system

“Analysis of the government’s ‘Planning for the Future’ has revealed that the proposed reforms will increase the threat to nature in England and do little to create better homes and communities for wildlife and people.”

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The government is asking for responses to its latest planning proposals:

The ‘planning revolution’ in house building – consultation launched – Vision Group for Sidmouth

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The Wildlife Trusts are calling for a new designation – Wildbelt – “to allow nature’s recovery” and are urging the public “to rewild the planning system” by responding to the consultation:

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Government’s planning reforms must address the nature and climate crisis

New analysis of the Government’s White Paper, ‘Planning for the Future’, has revealed that, as they currently stand, the proposed reforms will increase the threat 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 which would ensure the reforms can address the climate and ecological crises and people’s need for nature around them. One of these principles would, for the first time, protect new land put into nature’s recovery. For this, The Wildlife Trusts propose a new protection mechanism called Wildbelt

Government’s planning reforms must address the nature and climate crisis | The Wildlife Trusts

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The wider media has shown real interest:

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Government urged to create ‘wild belt’ nature recovery areas as part of planning reforms

The government should look to establish new areas of protected ‘wildbelt’ land across both countryside and urban areas in order to aid nature and biodiversity recovery if it is to spur an environmentally-friendly surge in development in the wake of Covid-19, according to charity the Wildlife Trusts.

Modelled on the UK’s so-called greenbelt policy for contolling urban growth and protecting countryside land, the proposal for a nationwide ‘wildbelt’ would create a nature recovery network of protected green spaces in towns, cities and rural communities, according to the charity.

The idea forms the central pillar of The Wildlife Trusts’ response to the government’s controversial Planning for the Future red tape cutting proposals, which were announced earlier in the summer in a bid to speed up development of infastruture and housebuilding in the wake of Covid-19.

Launching a white paper on the planning reforms for consultation in August, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the changes would “cut red tape, but not standards”. “Will lay the foundations for a brighter future, providing more homes for young people and creating better quality neighbourhoods and homes across the country,” he said.

But the Wildlife Trusts today warned the proposed planning changes threaten to “increase the threat to nature in England and do little to create better homes and communities for wildlife and people”.  Instead, the government should look to ensure protection for nature and biodiverse land in its reform package, the charity said…

Government urged to create ‘wild belt’ nature recovery areas as part of planning reforms | businessgreen.com

We need a wildbelt now | theecologist.org

Calls for ‘wild belt’ land to be part of England’s planning strategy | Planning policy | The Guardian

Setting up a ‘wildbelt’ will protect nature from planning shake-up, conservationists say | The Independent (paywall)

Campaigners gear up to protect nature | Wicked Leeks

   
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