CLA responds to Defra consultation on biodiversity net gain

08 February 2019

Quarr Abbey oak

The CLA (Country Land and Business Association) has today submitted its response to proposals within a Government consultation to make biodiversity net gain mandatory within the planning system.

This would mean that developments would be required to produce a net increase in biodiversity, either by mitigating any harm caused or compensating for it by creating additional wildlife habitats either on or off the development site.

CLA President Tim Breitmeyer said: “The CLA has long been supportive of biodiversity off-setting because it encourages new markets for the delivery of net environmental gains, which landowners are often best placed to deliver.

“If the Government’s net gain policy is well-designed and implemented, through the planning system, it could provide many benefits by contributing to the Government’s ambitions to reverse the loss of biodiversity. It could also help to stimulate public support for environmentally friendly development of housing and will provide much needed certainty for developers.

“However, there is still a lot of detail and complexity to work out to ensure the policy delivers for all involved – landowners, developers, the environment and the public.  It will be important for local authorities to have the capacity and capability to cope with the process.

“Our response to the consultation makes it clear there should be an exemption for small development sites of 20 houses or less, especially in rural areas, to avoid suppressing much-needed rural housing.”

Click here to find out more about the consultation