“I am satisfied that the Council’s policies with regard to trees are robust” – Cllr Caro Wild

Here is the text of the original Civic Society’s letter to Cllr Caro Wild, to which he replied above. It was sent on 6 February 2020

Dear Councillor Wild and Mr Clemence,

Thank you for meeting with us to discuss the Green Infrastructure SPG and trees in particular.

Further to this meeting, and Councillor Bradbury’s public commitment to providing better protection for mature trees at the full council meeting last July, we have these points to make. 

The Green Infrastructure SPG (GI SPG) was published in November 2017 and since then there have been a number of developments –

  • Welsh Government has issued Planning Policy Wales 10 (PPW10), the planning framework for Wales
  • The Chief Planner, Welsh Government, has issued the attached letter, dated 23/10/19, to Local Planning Authorities’ Heads of Planning
  • Cardiff Council has declared a Climate Emergency 

PPW10 states that –

  • …….the development of green infrastructure is an important way for local authorities to deliver their Section 6 duty (para 6.2.2) How the Council is going to achieve this needs to be made clear in both the SPG and the BRED Action Plan
  • The planning system has a key role to play in helping to reverse the decline in biodiversity and increasing the resilience of ecosystems, at various scales, by ensuring appropriate mechanisms are in place to both protect against loss and to secure enhancement. Addressing the consequences of climate change should be a central part of any measures to conserve biodiversity and the resilience of ecosystems (para 6.4.3). The Council needs to acknowledge this in its planning guidance and demonstrate its understanding that these two issues are intertwined – e.g. protecting and increasing native, nature-friendly tree numbers will assist with both its biodiversity duties and climate change. The Trees TGN is weak on climate change.
  • A proactive approach towards facilitating the delivery of biodiversity and resilience outcomes should be taken by all those participating in the planning process. In particular, planning authorities must demonstrate that they have sought to fulfil the duties and requirements of Section 6 of the Environment Act by taking all reasonable steps to maintain and enhance biodiversity in the exercise of their functions (para 6.4.8) The Council needs to demonstrate clearly how it does this.

In view of the above, Cardiff Civic Society requests that the Council review its GI SPG as a matter of urgency.

Furthermore, we  would like confirmation that this review is being undertaken.

Yours sincerely,

Cardiff Civic Society

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