National Planning Policy Framework draft- what it means for bugs!
Buglife have submitted a response to the National Planning Policy Framework highlighting the most significant and serious concerns for invertebrates.
19th October 2011
Consultation for the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) produced in July 2011 has now closed. Buglife has submitted a joint response with the Wildlife & Countryside Link and a solo response.
The NPPF is a key part of the Government reforms to make the planning system less complex and more accessible, and to promote sustainable growth. Buglife along with many other organisations had concerns about the underlying principles and content of the framework. Greg Clark, Minister for Planning wrote 'warm words' in the NPPF foreword suggesting a recognition of environment conservation and biodiversity, however, this is not reinforced within the text of the NPPF. The July 2011 draft NPPF provided a framework almost solely focused on economic and business growth with little regard or respect for the needs of the natural environment. Another concern is the lack of reference to the Natural Environment White Paper which outlines the Government’s vision for the natural environment over the next 50 years. The most notable concern for invertebrates is the necessity to redefine 'previously developed land' to exclude high value wildlife sites.
Buglife and a number of non-governmental organisations including the RSPB, The Wildlife Trust and Amphibian & Reptile Conservation joined forces to ensure the Wildlife & Countryside Link response incorporated the major concerns for invertebrates.
In addition to the Wildlife & Countryside Link response Buglife submitted a solo response to the NPPF. Buglife expressed concern that if targets to prioritise development on brownfield over greenfield were reinstated Buglife would want to see a redefinition of the term ‘previously developed land’. The new definition would ensure that high wildlife value sites are protected from development. Buglife also commented that the current emphasis on localism was too great. Buglife believe that decision making at a local level may fail to adequately consider invertebrates.
The NPPF consultation period has now closed and comments will be considered. The Government expects to publish the final National Planning Policy Framework by April 2012. If you would like to find out more about the Buglife response to NPPF please email firstname.lastname@example.org