Thank you for contacting me about the National Planning Policy Framework and local wildlife.
I understand your concerns and share your view that local wildlife sites are an essential part of our country’s natural heritage which should be protected for future generations. That is why I am pleased that the revised National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that existing protection for local wildlife sites will continue to apply.
The revised Framework lists local wildlife sites as “international, national and locally designated sites of importance for biodiversity”. As such, the Framework is clear that local authorities must “identify, map and safeguard” wildlife sites as part of their local plans.
The Government is committed to enhancing the protections of our precious environment, as set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan. The revised Framework reinforces environmental protections in various ways, including by requiring local authorities to improve biodiversity, improving air quality, and delivering on the manifesto commitment to increase the protection for ancient woodland.
I am confident that the revised version of the Framework will protect our local wildlife sites for decades to come.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP