To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 7 December 2017 to Question 117148 on forests: conservation, what criteria are used to decide whether the benefits of development outweigh the loss of ancient woodland.
The Forestry Commission and Natural England produce the standing advice for planning applications that impact on ancient woodland. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) does not specify the criteria, as the local authority is best placed to determine what the needs of their area are. The existing policies already provide a high bar, however this government remains committed to deliver the manifesto commitment to provide stronger protections for our ancient woodland. My Department are liaising with DEFRA, HMT and other stakeholders. The revised NPPF will be consulted on in the Spring.