The new Environment Bill would require any development to increase biodiversity.
And yet new planning proposals “would allow an increasing number of residential developments to sidestep biodiversity rules”
The Environment Bill currently making its way through Parliament includes the requirement that Biodiversity Net Gain becomes a condition of planning permission in England. All developments requiring planning consent will need to deliver a minimum of a 10% uplift in the value of biodiversity present on the site prior to the proposal. In short, where previously a development simply had to mitigate any biodiversity impact it may have created, it will need to add to biodiversity.
Here’s an excellent resource:
However, the government’s proposals on planning might change this:
With more on newts and planning:
The prime minister’s new planning proposals would allow an increasing number of residential developments to sidestep biodiversity rules…
Specifically, the PM’s ‘New Deal’ proposes to allow more housing to be built without planning applications. The proposal is based on the controversial ‘office-to-resi’ policy, which allows developers to convert offices into homes without having to go through the planning process.
But this means that for an increasing number of schemes the government will allow developers to avoid an incoming legal requirement to improve biodiversity. Schemes built under these so-called ‘permitted development’ rights would be exempt from a crucial provision in the Environment Bill, which will require any developer seeking planning approval to submit a ‘biodiversity net gain plan’.
This plan is supposed to outline how a development will improve biodiversity. They are expected to include commitments such as creating new natural habitats, open spaces and wildlife-friendly environments. ‘Office-to-resi’ schemes will be exempt from this requirement, as set out by the government in a consultation response last year, and the expansion of this policy means that so too will be a range of other developments.
This, perhaps, is what Johnson was referring to when he claimed that “newt-counting” was slowing down housebuilding…
With the latest look from the Guardian today:
picture: Greater Crested Newts: Search Free Stock Photos, PSD Mockups & Vectors | rawpixel