Government is ‘set to delay new eco-laws forcing developers to improve countryside and wildlife habitats’
- New laws will be a mandatory aspect of the planning system in England
Rishi Sunak’s Government is set to delay the introduction of new eco-laws which would force developers to improve the countryside and wildlife habitats, sources revealed today.
Scheduled to come into force in November, the new rules won’t be brought in at all this year, according to an insider who spoke to the BBC .
Wildlife Trusts said the delay was ‘another hammer blow for the future’ and the UK Green Building Council said any delay would ‘hurt green business and development’.
Meanwhile, the Lords Built Environment Committee is calling for housebuilding to be given statutory weight which ensures it has equal status to environmental goals.
The new laws state developments must result in a 10 per cent biodiversity net gain (BNG) and will be a mandatory aspect of the planning system in England if they are brought forward.
Lords Built Environment Committee is calling for housebuilding to be given statutory weight which ensures it has equal status to environmental goals (stock image)
Last week, the committee said the Government is ‘failing to deliver for either side’ in its approach to competing demands for new homes and environmental protection.
The cross-party group was urging the Government to ensure local authorities do not make such requirements ahead of the statutory deadline.
In its report, it says advice on nutrient neutrality rules, which the upper chamber recently voted to save despite a Government bid to relax them, can have ‘crippling’ effects for smaller developers.
The committee said it would not comment on the ‘validity’ of Government policies on development or habitat protection and instead focus on whether they are achievable and how they affect one another.
But it found that their success had been ‘hampered and sometimes completely blocked by lack of co-ordination in policy-making and haphazard and unbalanced implementation’.
It recommended the Government provides ‘clear advice’ as to what assumptions can be made by local planning authorities and developers about the requirements following the passage of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.
Lord Moylan, committee chairman, said: ‘The current approach to managing any conflict between new homes and the needs of the environment is failing to deliver for either side.’
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