Halt harmful housing with new Environmental Planning Law

Halt harmful housing with new Environmental Planning Law

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Lucy Philip started this petition to Michael Gove (Westminster) and

To Michael Gove, 

We are petitioning the Government to end the continuous mass destruction of Greenfields - our countryside - from volume house building. By creating a new strong environmental planning law that will outlaw building more harmful housing this way. We don't need any more executive houses, we need sustainable green homes on brownfield sites of which there is a space for over 1 million new homes.  

We are losing our ability to grow our own food, as farms and agricultural lands are sold off for volume housing estates. Our woodlands, country fields, and meadows  along with the wildlife who live there, are vanishing, as tens of thousands of executive houses are being built over them daily, with so many more huge developments planned.  It is being witnessed in every corner of the UK, nowhere is, in reality, protected; not AONBs, not ancient woodlands, not the Greenbelt. Local Plans amount to nothing better than PLANNED ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION AT SCALE 

We say no more gross profiteering to be made by the developers at our expense of the flora and fauna we depend upon. The planning system needs a radical green overhaul to save our struggling natural environment.

The current planning laws are ensuring we speed faster into the Climate-Nature crises - by building on our carbon sinks - creating more extreme weather, floods, droughts and rising sea levels. 

People are joining together in great numbers from Kent to Cornwall, exposing what is happening and the planned environmental destruction for their counties, to say NO MORE - there is a new, sustainable better way which we must switch to. 

We know…..
- This excessive building is purely profit-driven and is putting us in a very vulnerable situation, and not creating green community homes that are most needed.

- How crucial it is to be able to grow our own food and get into nature and the countryside for our physical and mental health. Farmers should be protected by the Government.

- That tearing down mature trees and ancient woodlands is perilous, dangerously increasing the carbon in our air and pushing us further into the Climate-Nature crises. Doing the exact opposite for achieving our critical target of carbon zero.

- Our wildlife is fading, hedgehogs are close to extinction, bees are struggling. Nowhere is really protected, not even the landscapes where world acclaimed literary master-pieces were based such as the novels by E.M. Forster and Roald Dahl.

- Over-development is creating community and resource over-whelm, including for water supply, sewage systems, increases in flooding and traffic congestion, natural habitat destruction and deterioration of cultural heritage.

Yet we are constantly given ever higher housing quotas, and huge new planning applications for tens of thousands of executive houses in one location. We try and object – but it is like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. We cannot currently fully turn down planning applications. 

We are petitioning the Government to make a new Environmental Planning law and to radically and urgently update the National Planning Policy Framework.

Make the Planning Law fit for a climate crises, and to close down all the environmental loopholes that allow the system to be perilously developer-led.  

So local councils can only give planning consent to small, sensitively scaled, eco builds and to outright reject mega-estates and over-development.
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We demand the Government follow their Climate Emergency declaration of 2019, by extending the scope of the Climate Change Act 2008, in creating a new planning law. 

ECO PLANNING LAW

2022 - All planning applications, subject to the following new environmental legal policies:
(Including the 1 million banked planning permissions)

1. ENVIRONMENTAL HOUSING - in design, location & scale (e.g. Passivhaus standard) only. 

- Ban Greenfields volume development.

- NO PRIVATE HOUSING TARGETS – council housing targets only. 

- BROWNFIELD priority - space for 1.32 million homes on brownfield.  

- NO LOOPHOLES - close down all un-environmental loopholes – once a planning application has been denied, this is in perpetuity (no repeat applications) - make the legislation clear and strong

- GREEN RETROFIT all empty homes & buildings, and community homes. 
 
2.  PROTECT FARMLAND - make covenant for all farms, (trees & hedging), AONBS & SSSIs for no change of use in perpetuity.

- REGENERATIVE FARMING - support Farmers to keep farming, financially and legislatively, and in an environmentally sustainable way (regenerative).

3. VAT + TAX - switch VAT so none to build on Brownfield sites.

- TAX OUT agricultural land sales change of use, volume house builders, and asset investment of new build houses (end environmental destructive profiteering)

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In 2021 the UK hosted the World’s environment crisis meeting in Glasgow – COP26. Urgently, we must change all of our systems to stop them being harmful to the environment, to have a chance of a stable environment for the coming years, for food production, our health and well-being.

The top two contributing issues to the Climate and ecological crises is: 
1. Habitat destruction
2. Habitat pollution

SO THIS MUST NOW INCLUDE HOUSE BUILDING. 

We need everyone who cares about our life support system - nature and our countryside - to add their name to the petition to protect it from further destruction. 

At 10,000 signatures the petition gets a response from the government.
At 100,000 signatures the petition will be considered for a debate in Parliament.

Please sign and share, share, share on social media and email. We can’t lose this battle, for nature, for us.  

Thank you.
An environmental campaigner 

Notes

●      Example of current terrible environmental planning law loophole – “There is no specific law protecting ancient woodland from development, but the NPPF 2012 set out how the planning system should contribute to conserving and enhancing the natural environment.  Planning permission should (it said) be refused for development that would entail the loss of ancient woodland or the loss of aged or veteran trees unless the need for the development or its benefits outweigh the loss.”

- https://architecture2030.org/why-the-building-sector/
Buildings generate nearly 40% of annual global CO2 emissions.

Of those total emissions, building operations are responsible for 28% annually, while building materials and construction (typically referred to as embodied carbon) are responsible for an additional 11% annually.

●       “Ecocide” refers to harm to nature which is severe and widespread or long-term.” “The context is clear: the UNFCCC’s COP26 climate talks are to be hosted in Glasgow in November and are being touted as a “make-or-break” point for the planet’s future; the latest IPCC/IPBES report makes it clear that climate and ecology crises must be addressed together.  Ecocide law can do this.  Supporting an international crime of ecocide would show clear, appropriate and decisive leadership, while at the same time calling on the international community to step up alongside - as of course it must do, if we are to protect our planet’s precious life-support systems and our children’s futures.”

●      Climate Change Act 2008
The Climate Change Act 2008 is the basis for the UK's approach to tackling and responding to climate change. It requires that emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are reduced and that climate change risks are adapted to. The Act also establishes the framework to deliver on these requirements. A law stating how we have to be actively decreasing our carbon pollution to get to net zero urgently and within the deadline, this is the lever.

●      Climate Change Committee
The report published by the Climate Change Committee report  16 June 2021 “Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk” Advice to Government” that highlights the urgent risks and potentially catastrophic damages to our environment, biodiversity and of flooding due to failures in National planning and building policies.

●      Conflict of Interests
The Conservative government receive £millions each year from predominantly property developers – The Government has a seriously harmful “conflict of interest with the developers”. 

References

Climate Change Act 2008
https://www.theccc.org.uk/the-need-to-act/a-legal-duty-to-act/

COP26 (November, Glasgow 2021)
https://ukcop26.org/

State of Nature report – detailing the continual loss of nature due to human activity
https://nbn.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/State-of-Nature-2019-UK-full-report.pdf

Passivhaus (sustainable building)
https://www.passivhaustrust.org.uk/

Retrofit  
https://cat.org.uk/info-resources/free-information-service/eco-renovation/eco-retrofit/

40% of Carbon emissions from built environment - 
https://architecture2030.org/why-the-building-sector/#:~:text=Buildings%20generate%20nearly%2040%25%20of,for%20an%20additional%2011%25%20annually

 

 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 75,000!
At 75,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!