The government’s plan for investment zones, which will see planning rules loosened to boost business development, has been highly criticised by wildlife and environmental groups.
Fears stem from the fact that environmental protections will be relaxed to push forward development.
Although the Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clarke has stated these zones will not be “a developers’ charter”, the RSPB Wildlife Charity slammed the idea.
Operations Director Jeff Knott said: “We’re absolutely furious about this! We’ve seen the announcement of so-called investment zones where there are vague plans to remove environmental protections and allow pretty much anything to be built anywhere – they sound much more like destruction zones than investment zones to us.”
The National Trust and Shropshire Wildlife Trust have also stated their disapproval of the plans.
“When we’re faced with plans that we think would lead to concreting over vast swathes of our beautiful countryside and silencing the dawn chorus, we have no choice but to fight back,” Knott affirmed.
Shropshire Wildlife Trust’s CEO Richard Grindle added: “The government is taking a big step backwards if it does this.”
Simon Clarke stated: “Investment zones are a very targeted opportunity to unlock economic growth. It’s for local authorities to bring forward proposals, so bottom up rather than government leading top down, and it’s a consent-driven process.
“It involves much lower taxes for businesses in these zones and enhanced planning freedoms so we can actually get projects moving.”