Biodiversity net gain ‘should be prioritised’ in critical water infrastructure planning, say MPs

National planning guidance for future water infrastructure projects in England and Wales must have a “clearer commitment” to biodiversity net gain, a group of cross-party MPs has warned.

This is the conclusion of a new report published by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) today in response to the government’s draft national policy statement (NPS) on critical water resource infrastructure such as reservoirs, water transfers and desalination plants.

The key proposal of the NPS allows the secretary of state to treat a water utility’s five-yearly water resource management plan (WRMP) as a substantive part of a development consent application, thereby streamlining the planning process for water companies.

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