Government housing proposals and wildlife
Thursday 16th February 2017
© Ian Cameron-Reid
The Government's White Paper on housing could have some big changes in store for wildlife
Last week the Government released its much anticipated White Paper setting out how ministers plan to fix what they call ‘our broken housing market’. Naturally as a Wildlife Trust, we were keen to identify the impacts and opportunities this document presents for wildlife. Some of the key issues we’re interested in are set out in our latest blog post:
The White Paper refers frequently to the need to protect the Green Belt and compensate communities when it is built on. Unfortunately there are multiple definitions of green belt –nationally recognised statutory Green Belt, as well as informal green belt as defined by local councils. In principle this could result in more investment in green spaces, which would be welcome.
However space for wildlife and space for people can’t always be the same thing; many wildlife havens are sensitive to disturbance and are not suitable destinations for high levels of visitors. Ideally developers would be required to provide open green space for recreation, to buffer the most sensitive wildlife habitats.