The Green Parliamentary candidate for Brighton Kemptown Davy Jones has warned that lax planning controls are paving the way for the gradual disappearance of green spaces and wild life habitats, especially on the urban fringe.
Mr Jones is calling for a tightening of national planning legislation.
He made the call after he was contacted by residents of Longhill Close in Ovingdean, in his constituency, after a landowner began levelling a woodland site at the back of their road possibly for housing development. The land is rich with wildlife.
The residents were very upset and angry that despite their pleas to stop, the landowner proceeded to chop down lot of trees, potentially upsetting the nesting areas of local bats and a badger sett on the site.
Mr Jones said: “When I arrived at the scene, there was an angry group of residents outside the site and three people chopping down trees and generally clearing the whole woodland site. I contacted Brighton and Hove Council who confirmed some of the trees had Tree Protection Orders (TPOs) on them and the developer had been told not to damage them.”
The residents also called out the RSPCA, who explained to the developer his responsibilities concerning the badger sett.
“It is a sad sign of the times that developers feel able to act in this way knowing that the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) gives them the green light.
“We are in very real danger of seeing our wooded areas, so rich in wildlife, especially on the fringe of towns and cities, quietly vanishing as developers exploit planning law or sometimes just disregard the protection afforded. It brings home to us all how important the green spaces are around our city and the dangers of losing them to development schemes.”
“Although this land lawfully belongs to this developer, it is nevertheless a much loved woodland site directly backing on to this tranquil close. But now this valued green space has been trashed – presumably for the developer eventually to try for planning permission to build houses.”
“Specifically we need much tougher controls to safeguard ‘small green spaces’ – hedgerows, copses and wildlife – on the urban fringe of our towns and cities,” Mr Davy said.
For more information please contact the Green Party office on 01273 766 670.