Natural England - Tees Valley Unlimited

Tees Valley Unlimited

joint logos

Tees Valley Unlimited (made up of five local authorities), and Single Voice partners (the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Forestry Commission) share a joint ambition to see the Tees Valley develop a strong and sustainable economy and a vibrant and resilient natural environment. To achieve this we are working collectively to develop a collaborative approach.

Tees Valley image
Seal Sands Site of Special Scientific Interest, Teesmouth National Nature Reserve © Natural England/Peter Wakely

Benefits achieved

Improved environmental, social and economic outcomes

  • The North Tees Natural Network links together 7 sites of environmental importance in the heart of the industrial area to coordinate management and provide benefits for local people. These include: improving public access and visitor facilities, providing a resource for education and recreation, encouraging tourism (circa 230,000 visits, spending £2.3 million between 2009 and 2011), and increasing the attractiveness of the landscape to encourage local investment and so facilitating sustainable development.
  • Working with industry to significantly reduce the carcinogens released; a risk based approach to targeting big releases and a long term view has helped to reduce emissions.
  • Greater tree cover and more effective protection of landscapes have been included in Green Infrastructure planning.
  • Improved bathing waters along the coast.
  • Inclusion of environmental goals within local plans.
  • Protecting and improving designated sites.
  • Flood risk management, river corridor improvements and improved access to natural environments achieved through Boro Becks and River Routes projects, with Ormesby and Lustrum Becks flood management schemes.

Improved customer service

  • Working together with the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, we have jointly developed a more streamlined process for developers and investors seeking the necessary planning consent from the local planning authorities and the relevant permits from the Environment Agency, Natural England and Forestry Commission.

Greater efficiency

  • By developing a collective ‘Single Voice’, presenting unified messages and working collaboratively, we have enabled a better understanding of our joint interests, a strong consistent message and a clear definition of the environmental outcomes we are looking to achieve. This has given us a stronger voice to work effectively around development planning and permitting.

Better engagement with local government/new ways of working

  • Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission have a long history of collaborative working locally. We have identified initial actions to help implement a collaborative approach across Yorkshire and the North East. The strength of this engagement has enabled one organisation to represent all three on each of the Local Nature Partnership Boards with a Single Voice. The complex environmental and economic challenges make Tees Valley a priority location to further develop the extensive partnership working we are involved in.

The Project

The five Tees Valley local authorities (Redcar and Cleveland, Darlington, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool) come together to make the Tees Valley Unlimited Local Enterprise Partnership. Teesside has a unique balance of heavy industry and a nationally and internationally important natural environment including Sites of Special Scientific Interests (SSSIs), Ramsar Sites and sensitive groundwater.

This unique contrast and coexistence of industry and the natural environment creates a number of challenges to enhance and protect the Tees Valley’s natural environment which is crucial to achieving our economic and regeneration ambitions.

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