Developers will have to demonstrate how they are improving biodiversity when building new housing or commercial developments, under new government plans. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has unveiled new plans under which developers could be required to deliver a ‘biodiversity net gain’, which means habitats for wildlife must be enhanced and left in a measurably better state than they were pre-development. The proposed new rules require developers to assess the type of habitat and its condition before submitting plans. Car parks and industrial sites would usually come lower on this scale, while more natural grasslands and woodlands would be given a much higher ranking for their environmental importance. Green improvements on site would be encouraged, but in the rare circumstances where they are not possible the consultation proposes to charge developers a levy to pay for habitat creation or improvement elsewhere. While some developers have already been … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

Jamie Hailstone

Senior reporter – NewStart