Spring statement: go-ahead for mandatory biodiversity net gain plan

The government is to push ahead with proposals to require new housing and infrastructure developments to provide an increase in biodiversity, chancellor Philip Hammond announced today.

As part of his spring statement, Hammond said the government will “use the forthcoming Environment Bill to mandate biodiversity net gain for development in England ensuring that the delivery of much-needed infrastructure and housing is not at the expense of vital biodiversity”.

Biodiversity net gain will apply to new housing and infrastructure approved under the Town and Country Planning Act regime, but will not apply to nationally significant infrastructure projects which are determined by the Planning Inspectorate, under plans set out in a DEFRA consultation. The consultation on making net gain mandatory closed in February.

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