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Local Plans: Nature Conservation

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 7139, tabled on 25 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what his policy is on the level of emphasis that should be given to nature recovery networks in local plans developed by local planning authorities; and what weight his Department will attach to local authorities’ consideration of nature recovery networks when deciding whether to approve local plans.

Answered on

2 June 2021

Our existing national planning policy is clear that local plans should take a strategic approach to maintaining and enhancing habitat networks, and identify opportunities to enhance natural capital. Looking to the future, we are determined that our planning reforms will leave an inheritance of environmental improvement, and my Department has been working closely with colleagues in DEFRA so that the implications of the Environment Bill are fully considered with this aim in mind.

This includes capitalising on the potential of Local Nature Recovery Strategies and biodiversity net gain as we seek to make the system clearer and more positive. My Department will set out our full policy position in our response to the Planning for the Future White Paper later this year.