Decision details

Proposal for Woodland Creation

Reference: D50465

Decision Maker: Executive Board

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

Woodland planting proposals focussed on the council’s recreational land, grass verges and grass spaces around social housing.

Decisions:

The Director of Communities and Environment submitted a report which set out proposals on how the Council could lead an ambitious initiative to combat climate change with a programme of education and community engagement focussed around tree planting and woodland creation.

 

Responding to a Member’s enquiry, the Board received further information on the potential and capacity to grow and plant more mature trees in future and the most effective ways to establish mature tree canopies. Members also discussed the use of the planning process in promoting this agenda and the cross-directorate partnership working required to progress this.

 

The Board received further information on the longer term work being undertaken in this area including the potential to use land other than that owned by the Council for woodland creation and developing the scale of the initiative to include the wider region. Members also considered the raising of community awareness regarding woodland management, the development of the ‘woodland economy’ and the promotion of skills in this area. 

 

The intention to submit a report to the June 2020 Executive Board regarding the proposed White Rose Forest strategy was noted.

 

Also, the Board highlighted the links between woodland creation and ongoing work regarding flood alleviation scheme provision, with a suggestion being made that further information be submitted to the Board in due course around the potential use of appropriate land located on the flood plain for tree planting and woodland creation.

 

RESOLVED –

(a)  That the approach to education, conservation and tree planting, as detailed within the submitted report, be approved, and that support be provided for the initial allocation of a minimum of 25 hectares of Council land for woodland planting each year;

 

(b)  That approval be given to inject £0.35m per year annually into the Capital Programme over the next 5 years, with it being noted that this will include external funding of £50k in the first year, with a target to increase this by a further £50k in each subsequent year;

 

(c)  That the necessary authority be delegated to the Director of Communities and Environment, to enable the Director to agree the required ‘authority to spend’ approvals for the full scheme, subject to consultation with the Executive Member for Environment and Active Lifestyles;

 

(d)  That it be noted that the Chief Officer, Parks and Countryside will be responsible for the implementation of this project, with an anticipated review each year to 2024/25.

Reason Key: Financial Impact>£500K;

Portfolio Holder: Executive Board Member for Environment & Active Lifestyles.

Other reasons / organisations consulted

Local ward members, community groups including a programme of engagement and involvement.

Consultees

Local ward members, relevant community groups.

Contact: Sean Flesher, Head of Parks and Countryside 0113 3786002 Email: sean.flesher@leeds.gov.uk.

Report author: Sean Flesher

Publication date: 16/01/2020

Date of decision: 07/01/2020

Decided at meeting: 07/01/2020 - Executive Board

Effective from: 17/01/2020

Accompanying Documents: