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Dave Wood to Natural England Chair Poul Christensen, asking about the timetable for area designation. Poul responded that he understood the frustrations but stated that they were looking at the process and hoped to have this complete by the end of the year.
There was then a comment from the floor that he should look at
increase their planning resource and the number of people available to help with landscape planning issues which are perhaps considered a ‘Cinderella in planning.’
A representative from Kent Downs AONB raised the subject of biodiversity offsets.
Morgan Parry (CCW) said much was being done in an urban context but there was much wider scope to be more creative at a landscape scale. Natural England supported this view claiming huge potential but that DEFRA need to be brave and develop a framework for this to happen.
Manda Brookman (CoaST) responded that they were a social enterprise and that there was no one source but that their funds came through a variety of partnerships.
Poul Christensen, Chair, Natural England delivered a speech on the final day of the conference.
In his speech, Poul shared views on the localism agenda and other related agendas and remarked that there are lots of changes coming ahead. He spoke about ‘growth and development’ and that our natural environment is under threat more than ever before.
Natural England acknowledges and praises the role of AONBs and wider protected landscapes. Poul remarked that AONBs deliver a phenomenal amount through a very small resource and this was delivered with passion and in partnership. (more…)