Lib Dem Cllr Paul Zukowskyj today succeeded in getting the planners at County Hall to be more demanding and challenging to Boroughs and Districts around Hertfordshire on Biodiversity and the Climate Emergency.
At today's meeting of the Growth, Infrastructure and Planning Cabinet Panel, councillors were presented with a revised Strategic Planning Engagement Document, which outlines what County are expecting Boroughs and Districts to 'sign up to' when developing their Local Plans.
The document contained 19 pages of Highways and Transportation detail, 7 pages on education, 4 on libraries, but just a page and a bit on Climate Change (appendix 16) and just three paragraphs on Landscape, Ecology, Archaeology, Design and Sustainability, which didn't mention Biodiversity anywhere (appendix 9). The Climate Change appendix outlines what the Climate Emergency is and mentions the county sustainability strategy but fails to outline what the County Council expects to be in local plans to address the Climate Emergency.
After a challenge by Cllr Paul Zukowskyj, officers and the executive member agreed to look again at whether the content should be improved to better reflect the county's expectations.
Paul commented "The document just wasn't robust enough as presented. We need actions, and this document should clearly outline practical steps the County expects Boroughs and Districts to take.
"It was really pleasing that the administration appeared to recognise this needed changing. I look forward to a revision of the text that makes clear the practical actions we think need to be taken to address biodiversity loss and mitigate and adapt to the Climate Emergency"