Local Plan 2015-2030 Preferred Options for Consultation

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Local Plan 2015-2030 Preferred Options for Consultation

Policy CP10: Green Belt

Representation ID: 100

Received: 01/10/2013

Respondent: Woodland Trust

Representation Summary:

The Woodland Trust is pleased to see protection of the Green Belt.

Full text:

1. The Woodland Trust is pleased to see plans to protect the green belt.

2. We would like to see absolutely protection for ancient woodland, as this is irreplaceable habitat. Ancient woodlands are our richest terrestrial wildlife habitats, with complex ecological communities that have developed over centuries, and contain a high proportion of rare and threatened species, many of which are dependent on the particular conditions that this habitat affords. For this reason, ancient woods are reservoirs of biodiversity, but because the resource is limited and highly fragmented, they and their associated wildlife are particularly vulnerable.

Their long continuity and lack of disturbance means ancient woods are often also living history books, preserving archaeological features and evidence of past land use, from earthworks to charcoal pits. They are also places of great aesthetic appeal, making them attractive for recreation and the many benefits this can bring in terms of health and well being.

With only 2.4% of the land area in Great Britain covered by ancient woodland, it is essential that no more of this finite resource is lost. This means that ancient woodland must be protected absolutely from permanent clearance, but also that it must be protected from damaging effects of adjacent and nearby land-use that could threaten the integrity of the habitat and survival of its special characteristics.

It is not possible to replace ancient woodland by planting a new site, or attempting translocation. Every ancient wood is a unique habitat that has evolved over centuries, with a complex interdependency of geology, soils, hydrology, flora and fauna.

For this reason the Trust believes ancient woodland must be given absolute protection under this plan.

Comment

Local Plan 2015-2030 Preferred Options for Consultation

Policy DM1: General Development Criteria

Representation ID: 101

Received: 01/10/2013

Respondent: Woodland Trust

Representation Summary:

The Woodland Trust would like to see absolute protection for ancient woodland, as it is an irreplaceable habitat.

We would like to highlight the multiple benefits of trees and woodland (eg improved air quality, reduced noise pollution, reducing the heat island effect, flood amelioration and for recreation). We would wish to see mention of the importance of tree planting and woodland creation in new developments.

Full text:

The Woodland Trust would like to see no loss of ancient woodland as a result of development. We would also like to see ancient woodland buffered from new development.

Ancient woods are irreplaceable. They are our richest terrestrial wildlife habitats, with complex ecological communities that have developed over centuries, and contain a high proportion of rare and threatened species, many of which are dependent on the particular conditions that this habitat affords. For this reason, ancient woods are reservoirs of biodiversity, but because the resource is limited and highly fragmented, they and their associated wildlife are particularly vulnerable.

Their long continuity and lack of disturbance means ancient woods are often also living history books, preserving archaeological features and evidence of past land use, from earthworks to charcoal pits. They are also places of great aesthetic appeal, making them attractive for recreation and the many benefits this can bring in terms of health and well being.

With only 2.4% of the land area in Great Britain, it is essential that no more of this finite resource is lost. This means that ancient woodland must be protected absolutely from permanent clearance, but also that it must be protected from damaging effects of adjacent and nearby land-use that could threaten the integrity of the habitat and survival of its special characteristics.

It is not possible to replace ancient woodland by planting a new site, or attempting translocation. Every ancient wood is a unique habitat that has evolved over centuries, with a complex interdependency of geology, soils, hydrology, flora and fauna.

We are pleased to see that you expect biodiversity to be incorporated in and around developments. We would also like to note that trees are particularly important for new developments, as they deliver on so many levels:

These include for both landscape and biodiversity (helping habitats become more robust to adapt to climate change, buffering and extending fragmented ancient woodland), for quality of life and climate change (amenity & recreation, public health, flood amelioration, urban cooling) and for the local economy (timber and woodfuel markets).

Therefore we would like to see mention of the importance of tree planting for new developments.

The Independent Panel on Forestry says:

"Ensure woodland creation, tree planting and maintenance is part of the green space plan for new commercial and housing development'

It also recommends:
'Government to commit to an ambition to sustainably increase England's woodland cover from 10% to 15% by 2060, working with other landowners to create a more wooded landscape'.

The panel report emphasises the value of local authorities setting woodland creation targets:
"New Local Plans are the opportunity for communities to have more tree cover in their local area. More local authorities could follow the example of Sefton Borough who are increasing their tree cover, and the Greater London Authority who have a target to increase tree cover from 20% today, to 25% by 2025, and a further 5% by 2050.

Comment

Local Plan 2015-2030 Preferred Options for Consultation

Policy DM8: Supporting the Rural Economy

Representation ID: 102

Received: 01/10/2013

Respondent: Woodland Trust

Representation Summary:

Ancient Woodland, as well as aged and veteran trees should be protected from development.

Woodland is an important part of the rural economy, for example sustainable timber production and tourism. Woodland creation should therefore be encouraged.

Full text:

The Woodland Trust would like to see absolute protection for ancient woodland. We would also like to ensure that there is no loss of aged or veteran trees found outside ancient woodland.

We would also note that woodland is a valuable part of the rural economy:

Employment:
In total, the timber industry is estimated to employ about 55,000 people in Great Britain. About 54% of this is employment supported through multiplier effects (i.e., indirect and induced employment), while the rest is directly related to the forestry sector (including everybody from timber growers to processors through to employment in forest education and forestry-related Government employees
Regeneration:
Establishing new woodland is an inexpensive way of restoring the quality of the landscape and soil whilst contributing to wider goals of community and economic regeneration, often of prime concern in brownfield redevelopment. Woodland can also greatly enhance the visual appearance and amenity value of regeneration schemes.
A prime example of land regeneration using woodland was the Forestry Commission's Newlands Project (North West of England), which used a specially designed 'Public Benefits Recording System' to prioritise the planting and establishment of woodland on DUN sites (damaged, under-used and neglected land) in terms of which ones would provide the greatest benefits.)

Research by the Mersey Forest Brownfield Project ("Brownfield Remediation to Forestry") has shown that tree planting can be an important mechanism of reclaiming and regenerating contaminated brownfield land. Planting fast growing trees such as willows and poplars can markedly enhance the natural degradation of many pollutants in the soil, including petroleum residues, oil, industrial solvents and paint.

Rural development:
Forestry contributes to rural development directly through employment in timber production and processing and also indirectly through landscape benefits which attract tourist revenues and local visitors
Tourism:
Woodland recreation is another driver for rural development. Forests are amongst the UK's most popular visitor destinations, receiving about 350 million day visits a year (1). Forest-related tourism expenditure associated with tourism day visits, is estimated to be around £2.3 billion, over 3% of the total tourism expenditure in the UK (2).

(2) Hill, Courtney, Burton, Potts (2003) Forests Role in Tourism: Phase 2.Summary Report- Final for the Forestry Group (Economics and Statisics) of the Forestry Commission.

Comment

Local Plan 2015-2030 Preferred Options for Consultation

Policy DM17: Wildlife and Nature Conservation

Representation ID: 104

Received: 01/10/2013

Respondent: Woodland Trust

Representation Summary:

The Woodland Trust would urge that ancient woodland is given complete protection, due to its irreplaceable nature.

It is not possible to replace ancient woodland by planting a new site, or attempting translocation. Every ancient wood is a unique habitat that has evolved over centuries, with a complex interdependency of geology, soils, hydrology, flora and fauna.

Full text:

The Woodland Trust would urge that ancient woodland is given complete protection, due to its irresplaceable nature.

It is not possible to replace ancient woodland by planting a new site, or attempting translocation. Every ancient wood is a unique habitat that has evolved over centuries, with a complex interdependency of geology, soils, hydrology, flora and fauna.

Comment

Local Plan 2015-2030 Preferred Options for Consultation

Policy DM18: Landscape Protection and Woodland Management

Representation ID: 105

Received: 01/10/2013

Respondent: Woodland Trust

Representation Summary:

As previously mentioned, the Woodland Trust wishes to see ancient woodland given absolute protection, due to its irreplaceable nature. See previous comments for rationale.

Full text:

As previously mentioned, the Woodland Trust wishes to see ancient woodland given absolute protection, due to its irreplaceable nature. See previous comments for rationale.

Comment

Local Plan 2015-2030 Preferred Options for Consultation

Policy DM30: Provision of Open Space in New Development

Representation ID: 106

Received: 01/10/2013

Respondent: Woodland Trust

Representation Summary:

The Woodland Trust would like it notes that woodlands make particularly outstanding greenspaces.

Full text:

The Woodland Trust would like it noted here that woodland makes outstanding green spaces.

Woods provide a range of social, economic and environmental benefits and woodland has been shown to contribute to 10 of the 20 quality of life indicators for the UK.
Public health is one of the biggest challenges facing modern society. Easily accessible woods close to residential areas provide measurable benefits: they encourage people to exercise; help reduce the mental stresses of modern society; improve air quality and reduce respiratory diseases. At present 85% of the population do not have a wood within easy walking distance. We need to remedy this and bring the quality of life benefits trees and woods can offer to our communities.
Woods make particularly outstanding greenspaces for public access because of the experience of nature they provide, their visual prominence alongside buildings which offers balance between the built and natural worlds, their low maintenance costs and their ability to accommodate large numbers of visitors.
Woodland and related activities can also be valuable in promoting social inclusion. Woodland activities, such as tree planting, walking and woodland crafts can provide a forum for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds to come together to learn about and improve their local environment. The Woodland Trust launched a Community Woodland project in 2002, which supports over 200 local groups which have a shared focus on protecting and caring for a wood in their area.

Comment

Local Plan 2015-2030 Preferred Options for Consultation

Policy DM31: Protection and Enhancement of Open Space, Community, Sport and Recreational Facilities

Representation ID: 107

Received: 01/10/2013

Respondent: Woodland Trust

Representation Summary:

The Woodland Trust would like to see woodland mentioned here (in relation to the list of open space and other facilities).

Full text:

The Woodland Trust would like to see woodland mentioned here (in relation to the list of open space and other facilities).

Comment

Local Plan 2015-2030 Preferred Options for Consultation

Policy DM32: Provision of Green Infrastructure

Representation ID: 109

Received: 01/10/2013

Respondent: Woodland Trust

Representation Summary:

The Woodland Trust would like to see trees and woodland cited as a key element of GI.

Full text:

The Woodland Trust is pleased to see this policy but would like to see trees and woodland cited as a key element of green infrastructure.

The Woodland Trust believes that woodland creation is especially important for green infrastructure provision because of the unique ability of woodland to deliver across a wide range of benefits - see our publication Woodland Creation - why it matters (http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/en/about-us/publications/Pages/ours.aspx). These include for both landscape and biodiversity (helping habitats become more robust to adapt to climate change, buffering and extending fragmented ancient woodland), for quality of life and climate change (amenity & recreation, public health, flood amelioration, urban cooling) and for the local economy (timber and woodfuel markets).

Comment

Local Plan 2015-2030 Preferred Options for Consultation

Policy DM33: Air Quality

Representation ID: 110

Received: 01/10/2013

Respondent: Woodland Trust

Representation Summary:

The Woodland Trust would like to note that trees and woodland help to improve air quality.

Trees improve air quality through the absorption of particulates from vehicle emissions and other sources - such that it has been estimated that doubling the tree cover in the West Midlands alone would reduce mortality as a result of poor air quality from particulates by 140 people per year. (Stewart, H., Owen S., Donovan R., MacKenzie R., and Hewitt N. (2002). Trees and Sustainable Urban Air Quality. Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster University).

Full text:

The Woodland Trust would like to note that trees and woodland help to improve air quality.

Trees improve air quality through the adsorption of particulates from vehicle emissions and other sources - such that it has been estimated that doubling the tree cover in the West Midlands alone would reduce mortality as a result of poor air quality from particulates by 140 people per year. (Stewart, H., Owen S., Donovan R., MacKenzie R., and Hewitt N. (2002). Trees and Sustainable Urban Air Quality. Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster University).

Comment

Local Plan 2015-2030 Preferred Options for Consultation

Policy DM35: Flood Risk

Representation ID: 111

Received: 01/10/2013

Respondent: Woodland Trust

Representation Summary:

The Woodland Trust believes that trees and woodlands can deliver a major contribution to resolving a range of water management issues. They offer opportunities to make positive water use change whilst also contributing to other objectives, such as biodiversity, timber & green infrastructure - see the Woodland Trust publication Woodland actions for biodiversity and their role in water management (pdf) - http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/en/about-us/publications/Pages/ours.aspx.

If you wish to discuss any partnership working opportunities in this regard, please contact us.

Full text:

The Woodland Trust believes that trees and woodlands can deliver a major contribution to resolving a range of water management issues. They offer opportunities to make positive water use change whilst also contributing to other objectives, such as biodiversity, timber & green infrastructure - see the Woodland Trust publication Woodland actions for biodiversity and their role in water management (pdf) - http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/en/about-us/publications/Pages/ours.aspx.

If you wish to discuss any partnership working opportunities in this regard, please contact us.

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