North of Tyne Devolution: Space for Nature?

The North of Tyne Devolution consultation is seeking views on proposed changes to how North East councils work together, in relation to housing and infrastructure, education, skills, employment and transport. You can find out more about the proposals here.

Theres is no reference to how local authorities in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland will work together to conserve and enhance the natural environment.

We are therefore encouraging people to contact the government minister responsible for the Northern Powerhouse, Jake Berry MP, to ask North East councils to commit to a master plan for strategic mitigation, to ensure important landscapes, species and habitats are protected and enhanced.

We have included a suggested template email below, which can be modified and sent to jake.berry.mp@parliament.uk and northernpowerhouse@communities.gsi.gov.uk
with open copies to the three council leaders nick.forbes@newcastle.gov.uk, peter.jackson@northumberland.gov.uk norma.redfearn@northtyneside.gov.uk, as well as info@savenewcastlewildlife.co.uk, before Monday 5th February 2018.

Dear Jake Berry MP,

Re: North of Tyne Devolution Consultation Response

I am contacting you in your capacity as Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, in relation to the North of Tyne Devolution proposals.

The natural environment is central to economic activity and growth: healthy functioning ecosystems attract and retain investment.

The North of Tyne Devolution deal provides an exciting opportunity for North East councils to evidence how they will work together to conserve and enhance the natural environment, which is a key priority for the UK Government.

The UK Government advocates an integrated large-scale approach to conservation; a strategic approach to planning for nature, within and across local areas. Land take, and the associated degradation and fragmentation of habitats as a result of residential development and associated infrastructure, can have a significant adverse effect on biodiversity.

The UK Government also acknowledges the natural environment is ‘our most precious inheritance’, therefore any proposals to devolve significant powers and budgets must reference how local authorities will invest in, and make decisions on, the natural environment.

The Northumberland Coast is of European importance for bird populations and efforts must be made to ensure this is preserved, along with other important North East habitats.

We therefore request you use your powers to advise local authorities in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland to commit to a master plan for strategic mitigation, to ensure important landscapes, species and habitats are protected and enhanced.

Yours sincerely,

{INSERT NAME}

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