My response regarding Government reforms that could impact nature
Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about Government reforms that could impact nature.
I understand your concerns and share your view that local wildlife sites are an essential part of our country’s natural heritage which should be protected for future generations.
Worthing West is surrounded by South Downs National Park and English Channel – both of which are home to an abundance of wildlife. I will shortly meet the Campaign for National Parks in the South Downs to listen to their concerns.
This summer, I was in close communication with Southern Water and the Environment Agency with extreme concern for the quality of our bathing waters following the frequent releasing of sewage in our sea. I will be meeting with Southern Water in their Worthing office next month to highlight my concerns and relay to them the concerns felt by many about their activities and press them to ensure changes are made.
I have been vocal with my concerns about projects that affect protected areas such as Rampion 2 Wind Farm, which proposes to bring electricity ashore through the South Downs National Park. Just last week I was pleased to attend their public consultation on potential onshore cable route changes.
I support the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill which seeks to give greater weight to local plans and national policy, giving assurance that areas of environmental importance – such as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – will be respected in decisions on planning applications and appeals.
It will introduce new Environmental Outcome Reports. I understand that this will help ensure there is a clear focus on environmental protections and pursuing positive environmental improvements. I am confident that the national framework will protect our local wildlife sites and support our Wildlife Trusts for decades to come.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.