The news (and Times) that Jenryk is keen on a ‘wild belt’ designation is encouraging (buy why only brownfield sites)
Many plans contain the equivalent where they designate ‘SANGS’ or there equivalent, and the need for a national register of sites for biodiversity net gain offsetting from which credit can be bought and registered (so they cant be traded twice) point in the same direction.
Yet planning is poorly set up legally for this. ‘Wildness’ is a land cover not a land use. Operations in pursuit of wildness are not agricultural operations and so don’t benefit from PD rights. Dig a pond for fish to swim – engineering operations requiring consent, for cattle to drink or for aquaculture, you may benefit from PD rights.
Three changes in the planning reform act forthcoming and GPDO could simply enable this. Firstly a general duty to promote biodiversity, secondly the ability to allocate land in local plans for restoration of biodiversity and/or access by the public to natural areas, thirdly to widen the definition of agricultural operation to include actions on an agricultural holding to promote either of the above.