Ancient woodland buffers and protection

In November last year, Defra published new Ancient Woodland guidance that required a 50m buffer from development. Within six weeks of issue, this guidance was withdrawn and the previous 15m buffer guidance was reinstated. There have not been any changes to this latest guidance but we are keeping a close on the Defra news stream and publications. The new draft NPPF seeks to increase protection of Ancient Woodland from development, only allowing removal where there are ‘wholly exceptional reasons’. Based on the definition provided in the draft, such reasons are likely to be national-scale infrastructure and capital projects.

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