Thank you for contacting me about planning policy and local wildlife.
Wildlife sites are vital to our countryside and our environment and it is a vital duty to protect them and keep them secure for the future.
The National Planning Policy Framework lists local wildlife sites as “international, national and locally designated sites of importance for biodiversity”. As such, it makes clear that local authorities must identify, map, and safeguard wildlife sites as part of their local plans.
As part of a wider consultation on the National Planning Policy Framework, the Government is seeking views on ways in which the planning system can further promote small-scale changes that can enhance biodiversity and support wildlife recovery. If you would like to share your views, you can find further information here.
The framework was previously updated in July 2021 to strengthen the focus on creating beautiful buildings and homes and now includes a new expectation that all new streets are tree-lined, alongside other measures to improve biodiversity and access to nature through design.
Proposals in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will introduce new Environmental Outcome Reports to help ensure a clear focus on environmental protections and pursuing positive environmental improvements.
I am confident that the national framework will protect our local wildlife sites for decades to come.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP