Neighbourhood Planning Bill - Report (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 28th February 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Young of Old Scone Baroness Young of Old Scone Labour 5:30 pm, 28th February 2017

My Lords, I thank all noble Lords who spoke so helpfully and supportively in this debate. It is wonderful to have this degree of support for these cathedrals of the natural world. I have to make a terrible admission to the Minister: I discovered in my research that he is rather keen on cathedrals, so it seemed a good idea to call these the cathedrals of the natural world. I thank the Minister very much for his kind words about the case. They are irreplaceable; we do need equivalent protection. I thank noble Lords who pointed out the value of ancient woodland, the help recognition of this would give to both planners and developers to avoid conflict for the future, and the need to strengthen the NPPF further.

The Minister kindly pointed out that the consultation, which he cannot pre-empt, goes on until 2 May. I hope he realises that means there are three months of wall-to-wall pressure heading in his direction, as we gird the loins of many others to respond to the consultation along the lines of the support that has been given in this House. I hope this is another of the Minister’s nods and winks but, no doubt, we shall find out only at the end of the consultation period. So, with many thanks to all supporters and to the Minister for the help he has given so far, I look forward to the next three months of enunciating this case, until the point where, eventually we get the change that is needed to bring into effect the very real and welcome commitment that the Government have shown. In the meantime, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 38A withdrawn.