Housing developments now required to deliver nature boost

England has become the first country in the world to make Biodiversity Net Gain a legal requirement. This means that all new major housing developments will be required to deliver at least a 10% benefit for nature.

Biodiversity Net Gain has been introduced through the Environment Act and is intended to help deliver a commitment to halt species decline by 2030.

In order to implement Biodiversity Net Gain at a local level, £10.6 million of funding is being committed to help local authorities recruit and expand ecologist teams, investing in green jobs and increasing capacity to create new wildlife-rich habitats alongside developments.

Environment minister, Rebecca Pow, said: “Biodiversity Net Gain will help us deliver the beautiful homes the country needs, support wildlife and create great places for people to live.

“This government is going further and faster for nature, since 2010 we have restored an area for nature larger than the size of Dorset, banned micro plastics and set ambitious targets to halt biodiversity decline.

“This vital tool builds on our work to reverse the decline in nature and for everyone to live within a 15-minute walk of a green space or water and will transform how development and nature can work together to benefit communities.”

Natural England chair, Tony Juniper, said: “If we are to halt and reverse the decline of wildlife in line with our ambitious national targets then it will be vital to ensure that new habitats are created to compensate those being lost to developments.

“Biodiversity Net Gain is a key moment on our path to halting the decline of nature, enabling developers to make a positive contribution through creating new habitats, increasing access to green spaces, and building healthy and resilient places for people to live and work.

“Many developers are already using Biodiversity Net Gain in new developments and recognising the benefits for people and nature.”

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