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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Regulation

Why environmental principles risk becoming a ‘tick box exercise’

Why environmental principles risk becoming a ‘tick box exercise’

Loopholes and caveats in DEFRA’s long-awaited policy statement on environmental principles will undermine government rhetoric, critics believe. Catherine Early reports

Latest news

Environmental assessment

Brexit lorry park report 'could contain information someone doesn't want in public domain'

A report on the environmental impact of a new huge lorry park in Kent could contain 'information that somebody, somewhere, doesn't want in the public domain', a councillor has claimed

Renewable energy

Kwarteng delays 1.8GW wind farm decision following court's quashing of sister project

Business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has delayed a decision on a development consent order for a 1.8 gigawatt wind farm off the Norfolk coast, after the High Court earlier in the year overturned consent for the scheme's sister project

Land, Ecology & Development

HS2 to appeal tree felling court order

HS2 has said it will appeal an order handed down by a judge last week forcing it to to temporarily stop clearing a site in the Chilterns area of outstanding natural beauty

Climate change

Natural England: Habitat restoration key to reaching net zero

Peatlands, native woodlands, saltmarsh and seagrass meadows have an integral role in helping the UK reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions, the nature regulator has said

Land, Ecology & Development

‘Omnishambles’: DEFRA’s ability to enforce new peat rules in doubt

There is no map describing the location of deep peat in England, posing the question of how the limited ban on peat burning set in law earlier this year can be enforced

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

Water pollution

MAPPED: 700 sewage outfalls under investigation for frequent spills

Hundreds of CSOs are being investigated for the frequency of their sewage spills, according to ENDS' analysis of a water industry environment programme, but it will be some years before any action is taken. Take a look at ENDS' map to see if there's one near you

Renewable energy

Does a High Court ruling spell trouble for the prime minister’s 40GW target for offshore wind?

Could a recent decision by a judge to quash planning approval for what would have been one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms off the Norfolk coast scupper prime minister Boris Johnson’s plans to turn the UK into the ‘Saudi Arabia of offshore wind’? Jamie Carpenter finds out

Environmental Politics

Why DEFRA 'lacks the clout’ to deliver its environment plan

Two recent Public Accounts Committee inquiries have questioned DEFRA’s ability to lead other departments, and even its own agencies, to achieve its aims for the environment. Catherine Early reports

Land, Ecology & Development

Why a judicial review could torpedo a pioneering approach to nutrient neutrality

Councils are seeking to rewild farmland in an attempt to reduce nitrate pollution in the Solent. But their plans, drawn up in response to Natural England advice that has halted housebuilding, face a legal threat from campaigners, who say that they lack ambition and the science is not proven. James Fair reports

Land, Ecology & Development

Policy briefing: What the London Plan’s green measures mean for development

The latest iteration of London’s key planning blueprint contains new environmental requirements, including that proposed developments should manage biodiversity impacts

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