A report that has been published yesterday by the Wildlife Trusts sets out the new guidelines about exactly how housing developments can be built in a way to benefit both the environment and people
The report, 'Homes for people and wildlife - how to build housing in a nature-friendly way', has been published at a time when the Government has already committed to building a further 300,000 homes per year in the UK, up until 2022.
There are already plans underway in Dorset, which include 3,588 new dwellings per year. This will increase by 11 per cent (up to 3,980 per year) if government proposals are adopted.
Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) believes the natural environment should be at the heart of Dorset's planning system to give the government the chance of meeting its commitments to both the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it in, and to build new homes and communities for people to live in.
One such example of a development being created with wildlife in mind, is the St Leonards site in Dorset, near Ringwood.
Dorset Wildlife Trust's Director of Conservation, Imogen Davenport, said: "In Dorset, DWT plays an active role in helping to ensure that wild spaces and habitats are protected and enhanced during the development process. We recognise the need for development. There is no need for conflict with the natural environment if development occurs in the right place, and in the right way, for the benefit of both wildlife and people. We believe that this is achievable and that happier, healthier communities can be created with wildlife and greenspace at the heart, locating houses in places where landscapes can be restored to aid nature’s recovery, as well as giving people access to nature right where they live."
"It is possible to create nature-friendly housing by retaining natural habitats, creating wildlife-rich community green spaces, and ensuring ‘win-win’ situations where infrastructure, such as road verges or flood defences, also enable wildlife to thrive. These gains for wildlife will also help improve people’s health and quality of life, too."
The new report highlights the social, environmental and economic benefits to this approach, including the benefits to wildlife, for residents, the economy and businesses and the wider society.
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