- In addition to those objectives outlined, the new plan should have strong objectives prohibiting the felling of mature trees and hedgerows. The plan should also request Tree Management Plans to ensure that trees are strongly protected during development according to BS standards, and ensure trees are incorporated into the design of new developments.
- The new Draft Plan should also mandate the protection and preservation of existing hedgerows in new developments. In the exceptional case where their removal is necessary during the course of road works or other works, the Plan should ensure the highest-standard methodology is used for their assessment, removal and protection of the hedgerow network, and seek their replacement with new hedgerows of native species indigenous to the area.
- The Draft should require that in the exceptional circumstances where trees are removed these must be replaced in suitable locations at a ratio of 4:1.
- The new plan should include an objective for the development of a tree planting policy for the County.
- Where a proposed development may have a significant impact on rare and threatened species that an Ecological Impact Assessment is prepared by a suitably qualified and indemnified person for a proposed development.
- The new Draft is also an opportunity to explore an ecosystems services scoring approach to inform planning decisions.
- The assessment of planning applications for the impact on natural heritage and wildlife and protected species must be signficiantly strengthened as a core objective in the new Draft.
- The Draft Plan should include clear objectives around connecting parks and open spaces via green corridors
- The Draft should include objectives around promoting community supported agriculture (CSA), allotments and community gardens.
- The Draft should include a clear objective to promote the transition to pollinator friendly green spaces in all open space public lands managed by the Council in pursuit of the protection of pollinators and nature recovery.
- New developments should be required to ensure all open spaces include landscaping with native trees and plants, the integration and enhancement of natural amenities and natural playgrounds for children.
- Include urban forests and urban greening as a key objective and provide support to communities who wish to advance such greening projects.
- In the context of Article 10 of the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), the Plan should also articulate clearly a goal to effectively manage features such as field boundaries that are essential for the protection and restoration of wild species numbers and diversity.
- The Draft Plan should acknowledge and raise awareness of the negative impacts of artificial lighting on wildlife. An objective should be included that requires lighting fixtures to provide only the amount of light necessary for personal safety. Lighting should have minimum environmental impact and in particuarly aim to protect species such as bats that are sensitive to light.