The Friends have been working hard to ensure that Thorpe Woodlands unique environmental and ecological benefits are recognised and protected under the JCS.
In the run up to the JCS vote we have been in contact with Natural England who are a statutory consultee in the planning process and are consulted on all Local Development Framework documents. In their latest letter, which was released on the day of the JCS vote, they drew attention to the fact that:
County Wildlife Sites form a vital element of green infrastructure provision for the city, and their value is specifically mentioned in the JCS, supporting Policy 1 - Climate change and protecting environmental assets: ‘Assets of local importance, such as County Wildlife Sites, are valuable in their own right and in combination provide a significant resource.’ (page 25). The policy itself contains a high level of protection for local sites, which requires all losses to be mitigated:
· minimise fragmentation of habitats and seek to conserve and enhance
In addition to the above the Joint Core Strategy Document itself also sets out the area of green infrastructure for the Greater Norwich Area. Page 29 (see picture) maps all these areas, one of which is clearly Thorpe Woods.