How you can help
Together with our colleagues at Scottish Environment LINK, we have prepared an online petition. Our message states the concerns we have, as Scottish environmental NGOs, regarding the planning system, but we need you, our supporters, to send a customised message to your MSPs asking for better legislation for trees and woodland.
Your message could refer to some of the following issues:
- The Planning Bill should have the overarching purpose of achieving sustainable development
- The loss of the duty on planning authorities to produce statutory supplementary guidance could impact current protection levels given to trees and woodland
- Simplified Development Zone schemes could put trees and woodland, and designated areas such as SSSIs, at greater risk from development.
You could also ask for native woodland creation targets, better protection for ancient woodland and veteran trees in the Scottish Planning Policy, and better green network and green infrastructure implementation. Ask for strong and ambitious policies, and a move away from ambiguously worded guidance.
Finally, it is the local communities which have to live with the developments, so it is important to give examples of inappropriate developments which negatively impacted on biodiversity, trees and woodland in your area. Your MSPs would appreciate you bringing these to their attention.
We wish we had planning strategies which would encourage developers and planning authorities to create new places and enhance existing ones for happy and healthy lives. If the overall purpose of planning as sustainable development is incorporated into the bill, we can be closer to seeing the same level of ambition in the planning system as we see in the low-carbon transition sector. We want a planning system that encourages real innovation in development rather than continuing to promote the status quo. Your voice can help.