Ancient Woodland Protections Announced After Eastleigh MP's Campaigning

The Member of Parliament for Eastleigh, Mims Davies, has welcomed action within the Government’s new National Planning Policy Framework which gives greater protection to Ancient Woodland and Veteran Trees.

Commenting, Eastleigh MP Mims Davies said:

“Having worked SO hard to get these extra protections put in place, I am absolutely delighted that the Government has listened! For the first time it has put the protection of ancient woodland and ancient and veteran trees on a par with the best of our built heritage.

“Meanwhile, our local representatives at Eastleigh Borough Council continue to plough ahead with their plans to develop 5,200 new houses near Fair Oak and Bishopstoke, endangering our local ancient woodland.

“Like the hundreds of constituents who have written to me with their concerns over Eastleigh Borough Council’s plans, I hope the administration will now closely consider the advice within the Government’s new National Planning Policy Framework and look into other options that will better reflect our area as well as the views of local people.”

Eastleigh’s MP, Mims Davies, who was formerly Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ancient Woodland and Veteran Trees, supporting the local community and the Woodland Trust, campaigned to ensure that the extra protections were included within the Government’s new planning document.

Also commenting, Chief Executive at the Woodland Trust, Beccy Speight, said:

“We welcome this shift.  A country that cares for its future cares for its past. It’s absolutely right that ancient woodland is afforded the highest possible protection from development – it is one of our top wildlife habitats and there is so little of it left.

“This is a victory for common sense and a huge step forward, although effective local enforcement will be key. The new changes come into effect immediately; we now expect to see a shift down in number from the current 586 damaging live applications in play as planners and developers take this change into account.”