Wednesday, 14 September 2011

TIME TO PROTECT WILDLIFE FROM DEVELOPMENT MANIA

Kent Green Party is concerned that key organisations protecting UK wildlife and the natural environment have been severely weakened by the Coalition Government(1). Dr Hazel Dawe, Campaigns Officer of Kent Green Party, comments:

“As the winner of a Kent Wildlife Trust Gold Award for having a wildlife-friendly garden, I am extremely keen to see improved protection for all forms of wildlife and the habitats on which they depend. However, the powers and resources of bodies such as Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission have all been reduced by the Coalition Government. This would appear to be linked with the Government’s ‘review’ of environmental regulations and its widely criticised proposed ‘reforms’ of the Planning system.

“Who in Government will stand up for wildlife, for birdlife and for biodiversity? The Government proposes that local councils should rule in favour of development proposals. But protecting wildlife means protecting our greenbelt throughout West Kent, which they now threaten(2). Permission already exists for 330,000 unbuilt homes; an estimate of brownfield land available suggests there is enough room for up to 3 million homes; commercial space, which could also be used for housing instead, is at its highest availability for 14 years; UK business park vacancies stand at 17% of total space. In consequence, there is no pressing need for new planning permissions for housing and no evidence whatsoever that new land is needed to meet housing needs for many years (3).”

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FURTHER INFORMATION: Dr Hazel Dawe, a Campaigns Officer of Kent Green Party, can be contacted on 079444 71083 or 01732 355185. Published by Kent Green Party, and promoted by H. Dawe, both at 27, Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF.

Notes:

1. 1. Peter Marren – Our Wildlife Needs a Voice Independent 14th September 2011; Michael McCarthy – Wildlife Groups ‘are failing to protect nature’ Independent 14th September 2011;

2. 2. Planning reforms: green belt will have 'no protection' despite promises of ministers: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/hands-off-our-land/8761056/Planning-reforms-green-belt-will-have-no-protection-despite-promises-of-ministers.html - http://www.newstatesman.com/environment/2011/09/planning-turbines-countryside

3. 3. Guardian, 14th September 2011: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/13/planning-reform-recipe-civil-war ;

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