West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas has welcomed changes which are being proposed to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which will strengthen environmental protections.
The draft NPPF, which is currently out to consultation, has been updated to take account of the 25 Year Environmental Plan, published in February and includes additional policy on strengthening existing networks of wildlife habitats, taking air quality fully into account, clarifying development in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as areas of Heritage Coast.
The Framework also strengthens protection for ancient woodland and other irreplaceable habitats.
Mr Thomas said he was very pleased about the Policy Framework changes which have been included following lobbying from himself and Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow. Following concerns expressed by constituents about wildlife protection, they met with Housing Minister Dominic Raab to press for changes to the draft NPPF.
The Minster has now agreed to meet with representatives of Wildlife Trusts to discuss these issues.
“If the Government is serious about its commitment to leaving the environment in a better state than the one it inherited, there needs to be a coherent, joined-up approach across all policy areas,” said Mr Thomas.
“The revised Framework strengthens environmental protections in a number of ways, including by requiring local authorities to improve biodiversity, improve air quality and increase protection for ancient woodland.
“There is no doubt that the Government faces huge challenges to provide the housing we all seek and deserve but it should not be at the expense of our environment which is so special to us.”