Planning Permission: Nature Conservation

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 28th November 2022.

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Photo of Julian Sturdy Julian Sturdy Conservative, York Outer

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if his Department will take steps to ensure that his policy on [the deregulation of planning laws] will protect biodiversity in areas of natural importance.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

The planning reforms in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will give communities more control over what is built, where it is built, fostering better environmental outcomes and protecting the areas in which people live.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) already makes clear that planning policies and decisions should minimise the impacts on biodiversity and provide net gains. The Environment Act 2021 also contains substantial provisions to strengthen the duty on public authorities to have regard to the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity. It introduces requirements for mandatory biodiversity net gain on new developments, which is to be implemented next year, which will go to ensure that biodiversity is protected in areas of natural importance.

Furthermore, the Environment Act requires that public authorities must have regard to any relevant Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRSs), Species Conservation Strategies and Protected Site Strategies as part of their strategic assessment of their functions.

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