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Nature Conservation: Planning

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 126946, tabled on 8 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what additional protections for nature will result from the reforms to the planning system set out in the Planning for the Future White Paper.

Answered on

16 December 2020

In Planning for the Future we proposed a quicker and simpler framework for assessing environmental effects: one which does not compromise on environmental standards, and indeed encourages opportunities for environmental enhancements to be identified and pursued early in the development process. Proposals will leave an inheritance of environmental improvements with environmental assets protected, more green spaces provided, more sustainable development supported and new homes that are more energy efficient.

Though we are still considering the responses to the White Paper consultation, I can assure you that legal protection for landscape, habitat and wildlife will remain in force, and reforms will support the implementation of the proposals in the Environment Bill, including the commitment to a 10 per cent biodiversity net gain requirement. Consultation on the White Paper closed on 29 October 2020. The Government will publish its response following consideration of all the feedback received.