Response by a Bioabundance member the Joint South and Vale Local Plan

“The Vision needs a stronger indication of the connection between people’s wellbeing and the wider flourishing of the natural environment and to emphasise that this needs to be planned for. Furthermore, that this is not a matter of just protecting a few special sites but requires positive action across the whole area. For example “For this to be a place where nature is thriving” could be replaced by “For this to be a place where we enable nature to thrive, enhancing people’s wellbeing, where a flourishing natural environment permeates the whole area”. 

“The maps identify Green Belt and Natural Landscapes, but not Nature Reserves, Local Wildlife Sites and other areas of known species ecological significance.

“Councils need to gain a deeper and wider understanding of the ecology of their districts, not just with regard to wildlife and biodiversity but with regard to the functioning of the whole system. For example there are significant peat deposits in both Districts that are valuable carbon sinks and have rare and fragile ecologies that depend on land management and water flows extending well beyond the deposits themselves. The concept of Wildlife Corridors is well established, but the massive decline in insect and bird numbers is having a negative impact on sustainable farming and food production as well as the wider ecology that can only be tackled by a more coherent and widespread approach to land management and use. 

“Data on location of organic land management and local implementation of current Government supported schemes such as Countryside Stewardship and ELM would help. As we seek to protect and enhance the capacity of our soils to act as carbon sinks and manage water flows to avoid harmful flooding our planners need a good knowledge of the geology, hydrology and ecology of the district as a whole as well as development sites in particular. 

“The experience of the Covid pandemic and the impacts of Climate Change related weather in southern Europe have demonstrated the importance of local Growers to a resilient food supply, which needs to be encouraged and developed. If the Vision and Objectives are to be achieved the Planning Authority will need to have this data and knowledge underpinning policy making, wording, interpretation and subsequent decision making.”

Click here to download the full text of the response.

Scroll to Top