Closed petition Halt significant new development on the Gwent Levels SSSIs

The Gwent Levels is an ancient landscape, rich in culture and important for biodiversity, recreation, flood alleviation, carbon storage and food production. It is now facing multiple, adjacent, enormous solar proposals amongst other development proposals. The Welsh planning system in its present form is unable to control development, and the destruction which these will cause under present arrangements would mean the end of this beautiful, fragile and complex wetland.

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There is growing pressure for further, vastly accelerated solar and other development (such as business parks) on the Gwent Levels SSSIs and a systemic and longstanding failure to control it. For example, efforts to remove or even mitigate for serious damage from the only constructed solar farm there (Llanwern), via the use of planning conditions, have failed. Pollution levels in and near the site may well have increased. Lapwing, a scarce and declining breeding bird in Wales have been driven to extinction there. Climate change is the main threat to biodiversity globally. Concerted action is needed in all policy areas, including renewable energy – but this mustn’t come at the expense of biodiversity. SSSIs are jewels in our nature crown: UK-nationally important sites, statutorily designated for wildlife. Covering just 12% of Wales, they should not be targeted for major built developments, when thousands of hectares of land and rooftops throughout Gwent and Wales are much more suitable.

This petition is now under consideration by the Petitions Committee

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4,567 signatures

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Paper Signatures

In addition to the online petition, this petition had been collecting signatures on paper and has collected 1,146 signatures on paper. Making for a total of 5,713 signatures collected.