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Development in Woodland and Green Spaces

We at Exclusive Property sales get asked a number of planning related questions on a daily basis, such as:

  • Is there planning on the land?
  • What is the likelihood of planning?
  • Is it greenbelt or an AONB?
  • Are there any TPO’s ?
  • Can you build on Woodland?

We obviously don’t often have the answers to the catalogue of planning related questions from our speculative land purchasers, who are either looking to build their dream home or who are trying to become the next Bellway homes! But have faith as an article was published in  The Times, December 3 2018, 12:01am about a relaxation into development on greenfield sites and woodland!

The government have published a new scheme called The Wildlife Offsetting scheme’. 

See below for a blurb of the article briefly outlining what the policy states.

‘Developers will be allowed to build on woodland and open countryside if they pay a tariff to promote wildlife hundreds of miles away under government plans published yesterday.

Cherished green spaces may be destroyed without alternative sites being created nearby, conservationists said.

Under the wildlife offsetting scheme, a developer could pay a few hundred pounds per home to a “land broker” or “habitat bank” to compensate for damage. The value of the wildlife on a proposed development site would be assessed using a government metric to calculate the number of “biodiversity units” it was worth. The developer would have to buy 10 per cent more units than were destroyed to provide a so-called biodiversity net gain.

The money could be spent locally or elsewhere to improve a site’s potential for hosting wildlife. The “compensatory habitat” might not be permanent, with the government suggesting under one option that it might be maintained for less than 25 years.

Rebecca Pullinger, of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said that trees planted in one area to compensate for those removed in another might be uprooted before they had matured to make way for development. “While taking a net gain approach is well intentioned, there must be measures put in place that ensure developers do not use net gain as a way to build what they want, where they want, with the promise of offsetting its environmental damage elsewhere,” she said.

In short what this policy is stating is that if there is a piece of land that is needed for planning which may have animals in situation or have trees which may be protected, the trees and animals can be moved to an alternative location as long as it matches the original biodiversity score.

Article published in The Times UK, December 3 2018, 12:01am

All information in the above blog was sourced from The Times article. 

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