Protect our natural Heritage says leading Derby Liberal Democrat

August 14, 2009 10:36 AM

A healthy natural environment is crucial not only to our quality of life but also to the sustainability of life on the planet claims a leading local Liberal Democrat.

Derby North Lib Dem parliamentary spokesperson Lucy Care was speaking out in support of a new policy plan Our Natural Heritage launched by the Liberal Democrats.

Cllr Care said "This plan marks a step change in the approach of any major UK political party to the natural environment. The paper again places the Liberal Democrats at the forefront of proposals to both improve the quality of life of people today, especially those living in deprived areas, and safeguard the natural environment for future generations.

In particular, the proposals include measures to:

Giving local authorities a duty to protect local biodiversity,encouraging provision of wildlife-friendly features in new developments; and better protecting natural habitats that cannot be replaced;

Improving water management by introducing universal smart water metering in water stressed areas by 2020; providing grants and preferential rates for water saving products; and providing stronger planning guidance in favour of compulsory rainwater harvesting;

Giving people control over their local environment by introducing landscape-scale planning and reversing Labour's Planning Act; giving local authorities more power to protect green spaces;

Giving people access to their local environment by insisting on Natural England's Natural Green Space standards and increasing rights of access to the countryside, as successfully introduced by the Liberal Democrats in Scotland;

Acting to cut noise and light pollution with stricter regulation and better enforcement, including treating external lighting as a potential pollutant requiring control and taking measures to cut traffic and aircraft noise and provide better noise insulation for homes;

Cllr Care is attending the Liberal Democrats annual conference next month to support the proposals.