The government is consulting on mandating biodiversity net gain in development to ensure habitats are protected and enhanced for the future.
The proposals, published on 2nd December 2018, place the environment at the heart of new developments and would require developers to deliver a 'net gain' for wildlife, meaning that habitats will be left in a measurably better state after a development than before. Habitat assessment would need to be carried out prior to development, with natural habitats such as woodland and natural grassland given higher rankings. Some developers are already following this principle but these proposals would clarify this approach and ensure that wildlife habitats are considered at an early stage in the developement process, when benefits for wildlife and people to be maximised.
The consultation will run until 10th February 2019. More information is available on the gov.uk website here.