Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.

03 JUL 2017

Ancient Woodlands

Thank you for taking the time to email me about the meeting of the APPG on Ancient Woodland.

I am afraid I have prior commitments and will be unable to attend, however I understand the wish for veteran trees to be protected. I hope the following information on this matter from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is of interest:

Ancient woodland is a precious habitat, and would note that the National Planning Policy Framework already contains protections for it. It states that planning permission should be refused for development that would result in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, including ancient woodland and aged or veteran trees elsewhere. This can only be overridden if the need for, and benefits of, the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss.
Ministers want to protect and enhance our woodland habitats. England's woodland cover is now expanding at a rate that has not been seen since the fourteenth century.

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