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Five years after the publication of Making Space for Nature, and with a different administration in power since May 2015, there is sadly little evidence to suggest political appetite to deliver Lawton’s key tenets. Defra’s last implementation update report (October 2014) noted that ‘Many of the “completed” commitments represent initial steps, albeit important ones, towards these ambitions and we are putting in place important foundations for the future’. Since then, Select Committee’s concern about failure to actively embed the objectives of the White Paper in all development policy, has proved to be prophetic. Despite the evidence behind the White Paper that England’s natural capital is worth billions of pounds to the economy, it is still under growing cumulative pressure from intensive agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and urban sprawl. A substantial volume of relevant policy is in place, but the lack of integration between sectoral policies prevents intelligent implementation.read more
In summary, the purpose of the LVIA process is to inform accurate decision making, so it is important that the LVIA report is proportionate to the development proposed. Huge tomes produced for small scale assessments are both unnecessary and costly, and will probably alienate readers, local residents and local authorities alike. The most important attributes of LVIAs are clarity, transparency and accessibility.read more