Moved by Lord Oates
212: After Clause 95, insert the following new Clause—“Power to conserve biodiversityAfter section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 insert—“40ZA Power to conserve biodiversity(1) This section applies to—(a) a local authority in England other than a parish council, and(b) a local planning authority in England.(2) For the purposes of complying with the general biodiversity objective under section 40(1) and (1A), a public authority to which this section applies may designate a site within the area of the authority as a site at risk of biodiversity loss.(3) Proposals under this section must be submitted for consideration to a public meeting in the area to which they relate prior to a site being designated.(4) An authority exercising powers under this section must have regard to any views concerning the proposals expressed by—(a) those attending the meeting;(b) those who own or otherwise possess land in the proposed site at risk of biodiversity loss;(c) any other party with a relevant interest in the site.(5) An authority exercising its power under this section may publish a plan to protect the biodiversity of a designated site, which may include—(a) an assessment of the impact that any plan, project or other activity may have on the biodiversity of the protected site,(b) its assessment of activities that should not take place on the site where it reasonably believes those activities would be significantly detrimental to biodiversity on the site, and(c) any plan, project or other activity that the authority considers is necessary for the purposes of protecting biodiversity on the site.(6) An authority exercising its power to designate land under this section may enter into a “conservation covenant agreement” with a landowner as provided for in Part 7 of the Environment Act 2021.s(7) An authority to which this section applies has a right of entry to land designated as a site of importance for local biodiversity, where it has reasonable cause to believe that local biodiversity is at significant risk.””Member’s explanatory statementThe purpose of this amendment is to provide local authorities with powers to assist them in discharging their duties under Clause 95 “General duty to conserve and enhance biodiversity”.