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Planning could affect SSSIs

A leading environmental lawyer has joined the chorus of disapproval against the Government?s proposed changes to rural planning laws, saying that they will lessen the protection of some of the country?s most important wildlife sites.

Nathalie Lieven QC, who was commissioned by the RSPB to look into the subject, concluded that Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) would be at greater risk unless the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was amended.

Ms Lieven said: ?I have no doubt that overall the draft NPPF does materially lessen the protection of SSSIs and has the potential to have a material impact on planning decisions affecting an SSSI.?

She identified a number of sites that would be threatened if the new rules were implemented, including the Taw-Torridge Estuary in Devon, host of large numbers of wintering wading birds.

The rest of this article appears in the 12th October issue of Shooting Times.

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