In 2019, there could be new environmental requirements for property developers in Britain to be more mindful both when preparing and implementing their projects. Until the 10th of February next year, a new consultation has been launched which aims to ensure that developers deliver a net gain to biodiversity on all new developments. Essentially the habitats of wildlife must be improved to a better standard than it was pre-development.
These habitats would have to be assessed prior to submitting the planning applications. Specific interest is brought on the priority of preserving and creating grasslands and woodlands as they are home to wildlife, as opposed to a car park or industrial site which would of course come lower on the scale.
Developers would need a strategy and proof of ways in which their project will contribute to the expansion of biodiversity such as planting more trees, creating green corridors or forming local nature spaces. The most encouraged method will be green improvements on site, however, in some circumstances this will not be possible. In such situations, it is proposed that developers would pay a levy to create or improve habitats elsewhere.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced the consultation, saying that the millions of pounds invested in environmental impact mitigation by developers every year help in achieving better outcomes for nature and communities.
Gove explained that while some developers have already been targeting a net gain in biodiversity voluntarily, standardising a mandatory approach would give a clearer direction of how the environment can be improved through development.