Government plans for rapid growth and development between Oxford and Cambridge, known as the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, risk damaging impacts on nature and climate unless they urgently rethink their approach. That is the warning today from BBOWT and four other nature conservation charities - the RSPB, The Woodland Trust, The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, and CPRE.
The charities say Government proposals for increased house building and infrastructure development – including new towns – are bypassing critical processes for safeguarding the environment. They are calling on Government to rethink their plans and asking people to respond to a public consultation on ‘the Arc’ to tell Government they want to see nature and climate prioritised and prevent unsustainable and damaging development.
Estelle Bailey, Chief Executive of BBOWT, said:
“The Government’s plans for the OxCam Arc do not properly consider the impact on nature. As long as this is the case, they are a failure. You cannot plan for sustainable growth without factoring in the costs to the environment. But even that is the bare minimum.
"As it stands, funds will only be created to restore nature across the Arc if development takes place. Funding for nature’s restoration cannot be solely dependent on development. We have taken and used so much of what nature offers for generations, without paying it back. Now is the time for ambitious plans to restore nature on a landscape scale, in its own right.”