Local planning authorities now need to have a 'Duty to Cooperate' and give regard to the views of Local Nature Partnerships with relation to local strategic planning matters. This was amended in the Town and Country Planning Regulations (Local Planning) by the Government in December 2012. This amendment gives LNPs a role in cross-boundary strategic planning, and technically confirms that ‘bodies bound by the Duty to Co-operate should cooperate with and have regard to the views of Local Nature Partnerships in the planning of sustainable development’.
Nature Improvement Areas
In September 2012 DEFRA released guidance recognising that LNPs and Local Authorities will play a leading role in supporting and designating Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) in their local area, as part of the shift to delivering environmental benefits at a landscape scale. In accordance with DEFRA guidelines the WSLNP will work with neighbouring LNPs through the South West Environment Network (SWEN) to help develop NIAs across county boundaries and within Wiltshire and Swindon.
The identification of potential NIAs has been worked on by the Biodiversity Working Group and this has helped inform the development of a "Vision for Landscape Scale Conservation and NIAs in Wiltshire and Swindon." Once finalised this will be published on our website and will inform our work with partners to bring the vision into reality.
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