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Builders told to deliver ‘biodiversity net gain’ as promise to better wildlife

Defra Secretary Michael Gove proposed the move, suggesting England’s commitment to enhancing the natural world could go ‘hand-in-hand with [its] ambition to build more high quality homes’.


Lauren   Dean

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Lauren   Dean
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Builders told to deliver ‘biodiversity net gain’ as promise to better wildlife #StopSoilPollution

Developers building new housing or commercial development were told they could be required to deliver a ‘biodiversity net gain’ to promise they will leave wildlife habitats in a better state than they found them.

 

Defra Secretary Michael Gove proposed the move, suggesting England’s commitment to enhancing the natural world could go ‘hand-in-hand with [its] ambition to build more high quality homes’.

 

The new rules would require developers to assess the type of habitat and its condition before submitting plans, with grasslands and woodlands being given a ‘much higher ranking’ for their environmental importance.


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The creation of green corridors, planting more trees or forming local nature spaces were just three examples of how developers could then demonstrate how they would improve biodiversity.

 

And in situations where this was not possible, the consultation proposes to charge developers a levy to pay for habitat creation or improvement elsewhere.

 

It came as World Soil Day (December 5) was marked by a new government campaign #StopSoilPollution to highlight the importance of healthy soils and the free advice, training and events available to farmers and land managers by Catchment Sensitive Farming officers.

 

Rewards

Environment Minister Therese Coffey said: “Everybody has a role to play in looking after our soils and initiatives such as World Soil Day are vital in highlighting the environmental benefits that soil provides for us all.

“As we leave the European Union, we have the opportunity to reward farmers for the outcomes they provide by protecting this essential global resource.”

 

The biodiversity net gain consultation opened on December 2 and will run until February 10.

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