Wildlife trust’s plea over critical sites

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is urging its members and supporters to help it defend critically important areas for wildlife by responding to a Government’s planning consultation.

The Belper-based trust is concerned the proposed reforms contained in the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) put the future of Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) at risk. There are 1,159 LWS’s in Derbyshire covering, an area one and a half times larger than Derby City.

Until now they have received some protection through planning, but under the proposed NPPF they would no longer have specific protection.

Trevor Taylor, one of the local wildlife sites officers at the trust, said: “Because of the current protection LWS receive in the planning system, developers tend to avoid submitting applications that would impact on these sites. So it’s vital that this protection continues.”

Trust chief executive Ed Green added: “We believe new planning policy is needed but that it should be in the long-term public interest and reflect the ambitions for the environment that the Government set out in its Natural Environment White Paper in June.”

It wants greater recognition and protection for LWS sites.