Nature Conservation

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 9th September 2013.

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Photo of Graham Stuart Graham Stuart Chair, Education Committee, Chair, Education Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what considerations he has given to reducing the multiple used to determine the amount of land required for habitat replacement of the economic development in (a) the Humber estuary and (b) other areas.

Photo of Richard Benyon Richard Benyon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Habitat replacement may be required to mitigate or compensate for the impacts of economic development on biodiversity. Decisions on the amount of habitat replacement are currently taken by the relevant competent authority, on a case-by-case basis, taking account of the impact on biodiversity and the legislation that protects the biodiversity that will be affected.

The Government will shortly consult on proposals for biodiversity offsetting. Biodiversity offsetting could, in certain circumstances, provide a more consistent methodology for calculating how much replacement habitat should be provided when harm to biodiversity cannot be avoided or mitigated as a result of economic development. As part of the consultation the Government will be interested in views on the multipliers that should be used to establish how much replacement habitat is required.

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