Rewild the Planning System

Rewild the Planning System

Tom Marshall

Our planning system is failing nature

Nature needs to be given more priority in planning, yet proposed changes for the system in England will only make a bad situation much worse: failing nature, people and local democracy too. The planning system should protect our beautiful green spaces and enable wildlife to thrive - but it's not.

Why speak up now?

The Government has published a planning White Paper, Planning for the Future, which sets out their proposed changes. This was under consultation until the end of October 2020.

As they stand, the changes fail to address climate change, the ecological emergency and growing health inequalities. They need some underpinning principles to set them on the right track, otherwise they'll make a wilder future impossible! 

14,000 of you spoke up with The Wildlife Trusts to say you wanted to rewild our planning system. Thank you.

There will be more opportunities coming up to speak up for nature. If you want to be kept up-to-date with future consultations and actions, please sign up to our mailing list here:

What do we want to see?

Wildlife should be everywhere, not just in a few protected areas. Helping nature to recover across at least 30% of land and seas by 2030 will help us to deal with the intertwined nature, climate and health emergencies. Getting planning right is crucial to achieving this.

The Wildlife Trusts are recommending five principles that must be adopted for planning policy to truly achieve a wilder, healthier future for us all.

The Five Principles

  1. Wildlife recovery and easy access to nature for people are at the heart of reforms
  2. Protections and standards are not weakened, and proper impact assessments are in place before permissions are granted
  3. The intertwined ecological and climate crises are addressed, by protecting land that's in recovery. A new designation - a Wildbelt - would help achieve this
  4. Residents and other stakeholders are able to engage in design and decision-making at all stages, and will have the information they need to understand the impacts of plans on nature and on communities
  5. Decisions will be based on accurate and up-to-date ecological data, with a full program of investment in place to gather, analyse and hold data appropriately.