Land, Ecology & Development

The latest land, ecology and development news, analysis, best practice, data and insight, covering planning and land use, biodiversity, contaminated land, environmental assessment, protected areas and transport

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Land, Ecology & Development

The debrief: How a project is helping restore two chalk streams to favourable ...

The debrief: How a project is helping restore two chalk streams to favourable

The poor condition of England’s waterways and the important habitats they provide has been making headlines recently, but a project in Hampshire shows how they can be successfully restored to meet environmental targets... Read more

Latest news

Environmental Politics

‘Don’t let the government deregulate planning,’ campaigners warn

A countryside charity is urging others to join their campaign to stop the government from changing planning rules, which they say would remove decision-making powers from communities and local councils

Water

Sand dredging in marine protected area infuriates conservationists

Plans to dredge two million cubic metres of sand in a marine conservation zone in the English Channel will wreak havoc on the local ecology of an important sandbank and make a mockery of its legally protected status which needs to be strengthened, say critics

Land, Ecology & Development

Lack of great crested newt information thwarts 100-home development

Planning permission for a Welsh housing development has been rejected on conservation grounds related to the surveying and safeguarding of the EU-protected great crested newt

Brexit Hub Legislation

DEFRA: Safeguards will protect green watchdog's independence

The environment department has hit back again at accusations that the new Office for Environmental Protection will be more lapdog than watchdog

Brexit Hub Legislation

Eustice: Green groups have ‘misunderstood’ controversial watchdog amendment

Environment secretary George Eustice has defended the government’s move to enable it to direct the nascent Office for Environmental Protection’s enforcement policy via an amendment to the Environment Bill, describing it as a 'very normal standard clause'

Analysis

Land, Ecology & Development

Why Natural England’s net gain calculator may struggle to accurately value nature

Why Natural England’s net gain calculator may struggle to accurately value nature

The flaws in the biodiversity net gain calculator have all been corrected, says Natural England, but will its official launch later this year satisfy everyone? James Agyepong-Parsons reports

Planning & land use

Policy briefing: What constitutes a ‘disaster’ for the purposes of EIA?

In 2017, environmental impact assessments were required to assess a project’s major accident or disaster risks. New guidance from professional body IEMA aims to help

Biodiversity / conservation

Focus on: Britain’s Big Butterfly Count

This year’s Big Butterfly Count recorded the lowest number of butterflies in the event’s 11-year history, according to its organiser Butterfly Conservation

Land, Ecology & Development

Fact checker: Does nature thrive in national parks?

The government claims nearly a third of the UK’s land will be protected for nature by 2030 but what do conservationists make of the pledge?

Planning & land use

Data check: Environmental statements

Housebuilding has slumped and the number of environmental statements received by England’s local planning authorities has plunged by 46% this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, government data shows

Biodiversity / conservation

Wildbelts and wildlife: Where will the UK’s new nature protection areas come from?

Boris Johnson’s pledge to protect 30% of the UK for nature will require both new protected areas and improvements to existing land designations to make them fit for nature recovery, say green groups. Catherine Early reports

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