Amendment 100

Part of Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill - Report (3rd Day) – in the House of Lords at 6:45 pm on 18 July 2023.

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Photo of Baroness Pinnock Baroness Pinnock Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Levelling Up, Communities and Local Government) 6:45, 18 July 2023

My Lords, this is an important set of amendments from the noble Baroness, Lady Hayman of Ullock. They seek assurances from the Government that the replacement for the existing environmental tests for development—environmental outcomes reports—will be as robust as the ones they will replace.

The noble Baroness, Lady Hayman of Ullock, made a powerful case for a non-regression clause with her Amendment 106. Recently, there has been a lot of debate about this and pressure from those who want to point the finger of responsibility at the planning system for failing to produce the right number and quality of homes that are desperately needed in this country. When they do so, they point out the additional responsibilities of developers to adhere to environmental responsibilities and regulations, which are causing the difficulties they express. Of course, it is never as easy as that.

It seems to me that, after many years, as the noble Baroness, Lady Young, said, we have a much better balance now between development and protection of the environment in which developments are set. There are responsibilities that developers have to take up in order to make sure that they construct and do not destroy; to make sure that they create communities that sit well in their environment; and to make sure that nature and the environment are looked after for existing and future generations. So the noble Baroness, Lady Hayman, has made important points here; I hope that the Minister will be able to respond positively to them, because they are important. I guess that they will be raised again later on in our debates on Report.