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Proposed radical reform of the planning system causes deep concern, says Woodland Trust

Woodland Trust

2 min read Partner content

If the government is really serious about delivering a better informed, more transparent planning system that supports efforts to protect and expand woods for the benefit of people, communities and wildlife, it is not evident in these proposals.

Abi Bunker, Director of Conservation and External Affairs, Woodland Trust said: 

“Healthy woods and trees underpin a healthy environment which underpins a healthy economy. What exactly the government’s proposals will mean for woods and trees is still unknown.

"The vision of tree lined streets is welcome, but the proposed radical reform of the planning system causes us deep concern.

"Eliminating local oversight on individual planning proposals is likely to lead to substandard development that doesn’t help us to address the climate or ecological crisis.

“Woods and trees must be at the heart of the planning system and the protection of our most valued woods and trees for the benefit of people, communities and wildlife is paramount. Past national planning policy changes did increase protection for our precious ancient woods, but planning policy is one thing, ensuring it is followed, enforced  and put into practice is another. 

"The Trust is still fighting over 1000 cases of ancient woods under threat, the most we’ve ever had. We are disappointed by the lack of consideration in the paper given to increasing protection of irreplaceable habitats including ancient woods and trees.

"If the government is really serious about delivering a better informed, more transparent planning system that supports efforts to protect and expand woods for the benefit of people, communities and wildlife, it is not evident in these proposals."

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Environment