Don’t forget to add examples from your local areas and personalise the message. Please send your response to PlanningPolicyConsultation@communities.gov.uk

 

Dear consultation team, 

My name is {your name} and I am writing on behalf of {name of your group or community}. Individual planning decisions, development designs and local and national plans for development all impact local communities. We urge you to take into account our views on the design codes and continue to engage communities like ours in local planning decisions.  

Together we have agreed the following response.   

On the first section of the consultation:  

Generally, we welcome many of the additions and changes proposed, including the recognition that a network of high-quality open green spaces is important for sport and physical activity. In addition, access to wooded spaces is important for mental health as well as physical wellbeing.  

Specifically in response to question 8, as a group who particularly values our local trees and woods in {your town} we were pleased to see the addition of paragraph 130 in Chapter 12 and the ambition to ensure that all new streets are tree-lined. 

However, this must be tightened so that existing trees are retained unless, in specific cases there are clear, justifiable and compelling reasons why this would be inappropriate.  

On the National Model Design Codes element of the consultation (question 15): 

The design codes must deliver three key things to ensure that new developments provide access to high quality green space and trees and all the benefits they provide for communities.  

  • Protect and integrate existing trees  

New developments must incorporate and protect existing trees from the first designs. The designs should consider the long-term health of trees and woods in and adjacent to new developments. This includes providing adequate buffers for ancient and veteran trees and woods.    

  • Increase canopy cover  

New developments must have a target of a minimum of 30% canopy cover. This should be made up of a mix of tree lined streets, community woodlands and parks and gardens, for example. Trees should be native and sourced and grown in the UK wherever possible.  

  • Ensure trees thrive for the long term  

Local authorities must be properly resourced so that they can implement design codes and other areas of planning policy. Resource needs to be available for decisions to be enforced and to ensure long term management of trees by tree officers.

Kind regards, 

{Your Name} 

{Community group}