How will the government's flagship development enhance nature?

The Oxford-Cambridge Arc will "achieve net gains in biodiversity and natural capital", says the government. Adam Branson looks at how it plans to embed nature into the project from the start

Among the many announcements contained in chancellor Philip Hammond’s spring statement last month, one will have stood out in particular for environmental professionals. The government, he said, would be using the forthcoming Environment Bill to require new developments in England to generate biodiversity net gains and ensure that wildlife is not compromised in delivering infrastructure and housing.

Understandably, the speech was light on detail, but it was accompanied by the publication of a document setting out the government’s ambition and a “joint declaration between government and local partners” for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc project, which through a series of strategic infrastructure and housing interventions intends to boost productivity and economic growth in the corridor between the UK’s two premier universities.

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