Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 23rd February 2015.

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Photo of Joan Walley Joan Walley Chair, Environmental Audit Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans she has to introduce biodiversity offsetting; and whether ancient woodland will be exempt.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government is not proposing any policy change regarding biodiversity offsetting at this point. As recommended by the Environmental Audit Committee and others, Defra waited for - and is considering - the report on the six offsetting pilots before making any further decisions.

The Government has always been clear that any policy change regarding offsetting would not alter existing protections in the planning system such as those for ancient woodland.

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