Dec 14, 2019 | Climate Change & Environment



At a South Hams District Council meeting held on 25th July 2019, Councillors unanimously agreed the following Resolution:

“1. That both a Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency be declared;

2. That an Action Plan be developed that outlines how the Council will address the Emergencies and meet or exceed the targets set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including an assessment of the viability of a 2030 target and respond to the concerns raised by the IPBES report on global species and habitat loss to be brought to Council for approval within 6 months;

3. That the Council commit to collaborating with Devon County Council, all the Devon District Councils, Plymouth City Council and other agencies to address the Emergencies;

4. That the Action Plan identify Key Performance Indicators measured against any relevant national standards;

5. That a politically balanced Climate Change and Biodiversity Working Group be established that comprises of 6 Members, with the Group Leaders being given delegated authority to put forward their respective nominations after this meeting, with the Group being chaired by the lead Executive Member for Climate Change;

6. That the Working Group be instructed, at its first meeting, to consider the setting up of a Citizens’ Assembly and to submit a recommendation to the next Council meeting to be held on 26 September 2019 and that prior to that it be submitted to the September meetings of the Executive and Overview and Scrutiny Panel for comment; and

7. That the Council takes steps to reinforce its Joint Local Plan Policies in respect of wildlife and biodiversity through the Supplementary Planning Document to require developers to demonstrate biodiversity gain as part of any relevant planning application so that there is a robust and consistent basis to assess and secure meaningful biodiversity enhancements having regard to a mitigation hierarchy, namely to avoid impact first, provide mitigation where there is unavoidable harm and, in the event that there is no alternative, provide compensatory measures as a last resort.”

HAVE YOUR SAY – Here is a DRAFT LETTER for you to personalise

In the light of our work to defend the South Devon Area of Outstanding Beauty from inappropriate development, the South Hams Society was delighted to see the commitment made in point 7.  We are waiting to hear more about the Action Plan, which is due to be tabled to Councillors on 19th December. We are disappointed that no draft Action Plan has been produced for comment and there has been no public involvement in the Action Plan. We need that Citizens’ Assembly!

If, like us, you feel that our District Council needs not only to take positive action in relation to the Climate and Biodiversity Emergency but also to properly involve local people and organisations in shaping that action, please use and adapt the template letter provided and send it ASAP to:

Council Leader, Judy Pearce (
Please also copy your email to your local District Councillor(s) who you can find at:




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