Guidelines to protect countryside

Fresh calls are being made to protect brownfield sites that might be of environmental interest.

Following the government’s recent proposal to introduce a statutory register for brownfield land, environmental charities are calling on the Westminster to honour its original commitment to protect previously developed or brownfield land that is of high value for wildlife.

To help fulfil this commitment, originally set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), a charity has published guidelines.

The Wildlife and Countryside Link, a charity which brings together 44 voluntary organisations, including Northumberland Wildlife Trust, concerned with the conservation and protection of wildlife and the countryside, is identifying exactly what is meant by ‘high environmental value’.

The definition will make it easier for local authorities and developers to prioritise brownfield sites for development while keeping the commitment to protect wildlife.

Steve Lowe, from Northumberland Wildlife Trust said: “It is important brownfield sites of high environmental value are properly considered in the planning process.

“This guidance will give ecologists, planners, developers and land managers the information they need to make good planning decisions.”