• Council considers green forum as our wildlife is threatened

    9th December 2011 | News | Claire
  • I was unable to attend the meeting as I was unwell, but the written response from the leader, Cllr Paul Diviani, indicated that EDDC is placing a high value on East Devon’s environment and would look into the issue.

    The East Devon Business Forum, which has had a significant impact on EDDC’s Local Development Framework, and in turn, the Local Plan, is a key consultee on any matter relating to the economy of the district, including planning – a stated priority for the forum.

    Only a couple of weeks ago, we heard that many birds are in sharp decline, including: partridges, turtle doves, starlings, tree sparrows and corn buntings.  Also numbers of woodland birds, such as nightingales, wood warblers and willow tits have fallen by up to 70 per cent.

    And this week we heard that butterflies are also in decline.  Almost three quarters of butterfly species have declined in abundance over the past 10 years.  Loss of suitable habitats are thought to be the reason.

    It makes the chancellor’s plans for weakening the only laws that can protect our wildlife, even more irresponsible and misguided.

    I am glad that EDDC is looking into establishing the forum to oversee work to protect and increase the abundance of our wildlife in East Devon.  A group that will have the same clout and influence as the East Devon Business Forum has on planning matters, is absolutely vital.

    And I hope that George Osborne will come to his senses and scrap his plans to weaken Habitats Regulations. 

    I also hope he ensures the National Planning Policy Framework emerges as a document that the environmental groups will be happy with.