A TRUST which supports wildlife across the county is critical of proposed changes by Government to the planning system, which it said fails to tackle the current “climate emergency”.

The Government published its planning white paper ‘Planning for the Future’, on August 6, which outlines proposed reforms of the planning system to streamline and modernise the planning process.

Changes could include speeding up the process and land being split into 'zones' - green space will be protected and most brownfield land will get automatic planning approval

Steven Bloomfield, senior conservation officer in planning for the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust (WWT), said: “We are especially concerned that the proposals will make it even harder to protect distinctive Worcestershire habitats like traditional orchards and species-rich grassland from the impacts of development.

“We think that if implemented as they are, the changes will make it almost impossible for us to deliver a network of green places and corridors to help nature to recover and would mark a huge step backward for nature conservation.

“For example, the document will make it hard for us to engage in planning applications - wildlife is mobile and we need to react quickly to changes.

“The document has zero detail on what ‘good’ space for wildlife looks like.

“Flower-rich meadows have declined by over 97 per cent since 1930 and Worcestershire now holds around 20 per cent of the remaining national resource.”

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The trust is joining forces with other trusts across the country to raise a collective voice to Government and WWT is suggesting a new ‘wild belt’ to protect nature.

Mr Bloomfield added: “We are working with wildlife trusts across the country to persuade Government to make sure that nature’s recovery is embedded in any change to the planning system and we would like the public to add their voice.”

The consultation ends tomorrow.