Investment Zones and Protecting Nature

Dear Constituent,

Thank you for contacting me about Investment Zones and the protection of nature.

I am glad to see we are in agreement about how important the protection of nature is, and I am sorry that some campaigning groups have spread alarmist fears over Investment Zones.

The purpose of speeding up the planning system in defined Investment Zone areas is to cut back on unnecessary bureaucratic requirements and processes that slow down high-quality development or make it more complex than it needs to be.

This includes:

  • removing burdensome lingering EU-era requirements which create paperwork and stall development but do not necessarily protect the environment;
  • focusing developer contributions on essential infrastructure requirements; and
  • reducing lengthy consultation with statutory bodies.

I understand from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities that key planning policies which ensure developments protect our precious natural heritage and maintain national policy on Green Belt will continue to apply.

Key planning policies to ensure developments are well designed, maintain national policy on the Green Belt, protect our heritage, and address flood risk, highway, and other public safety matters, along with building regulations, will continue to apply.

Investment Zones will only be chosen following a rapid Expression of Interest process open to everyone, and after local consent is confirmed.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.