HTA meets with planning officials to push for more planting

Planning directorate acknowledges important role plants play in major landscaping scheme.

HTA representatives are encouraged by the outcome of a recent meeting with senior officials from the Department for Culture & Local Government (DCLG) Planning Directorate. HTA director general David Gwyther said the aim was to press for changes to planning laws to encourage more green planting, particularly in large urban and infrastructure landscaping projects. The discussion focused on the organisation’s concerns about reduced levels of planting, lack of enforcement of planning permissions allowing green planting and poor maintenance after installation. Gwyther said the meeting had been “useful” and he was encouraged by the planning directorate’s recognition of the role that plants and planting played. The HTA would contact other organisations to ensure all “pulled together to maximise the benefit that plants can bring to society and our environment”, he said. The organisation was asked to provide further guidance based on industry views, knowledge and projects already under way, so the new DCLG’s new PPS1 on planning and climate change could show the contribution that good planting and proper maintenance could make to a project and the environment. * The HTA’s annual conference will have a greener tinge to it than normal this year. The conference, Green Light for the Garden Industry, will show what the garden industry could do to highlight its green credentials and the business reasons why it should be done. It will be held on 15-16 October in Chester.

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