Forests

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 28th January 2015.

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Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Conservative, Tamworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to improve protection for ancient woodland in (a) England and (b) Staffordshire.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires that planning permission should be refused for any proposed development resulting in the loss or deterioration of ancient woodland unless the need for and benefits of the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss.

The Government is considering the recent recommendations of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee on the NPPF, including those on revising the wording relating to ancient woodlands and the potential for designating more ancient woodlands as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). We will respond in due course. However, Natural England is working on identifying further ancient woodland suitable for designation as SSSI.

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