I recently spoke (if this is the right word) at a webinar on the Environment Bill, hosted by Bath Publishing. We had a good response in terms of questions from delegates (probably not the right word) but could not tackle them all on the day. I have listed them below and will try to answer them all over coming weeks.


  1. Can I just clarify - this Bill is for England only?
  2. Do you think local plans will need to demonstrate biodiversity/environmental improvement can be delivered on sites allocated for development to show they are viable, deliverable and developable (10% uplift in biodiversity/environmental improvement)?
  3. Where local planning authorities seek to achieve a net gain in biodiversity on current applications, i.e. ahead of the finalising of the Bill, how much weight does their request have when the gain isn't mandatory yet?
  4. Could the 'Responsible Person' be the Local Nature Partnership?
  5. Apologies if this will be answered later but existing policies allow for the provision of both on-site and it that is not possible off-site provision (financial provision) for a site within 2km. Is the net gain over and above what would be secured anyway
  6. Is Biodiversity gain plan applicable to rural settings?
  7. The development plan may also set a different percentage for biodiversity net gain which will add further complexity.
  8. Again apologies if answered later - is there a threshold for the type of development being considered ?Site Area? Number of houses?
  9. It will not be practical for a new town project to calculate biodiversity credits. How do you resepond to that?
  10. Was wondering please if Graham could cover whethe rPd will require Net gain and how might rapid D&B schemes deal with the requirement of the Condition just described? Thanks.
  11. If you are finalising a Local Plan at the moment, what should an LPA focus on putting into the policy text. Is a hook for Biodiversity Net Gain sufficient, or would you pick up something else as well?
  12. When is the Environment Bill coming into effect and when will LPAs start to require a biodiversity gain plan from developers?
  13. How will the matter of development site viability and the need to achieve net gain compete? Will for example education and affordable housing contributions be 'trumped' by biodiversity net gain requirements.
  14. Also please, are LPAs funded to asses complexity of habitats replaced by (what is by goodwill) assessed as a decent replacement in a smaller area - unless adding time and cost of credit purchase... Underllines need of independent scrutiny in my mind
  15. Are biodiversity credits a general currency or must they have a direct link to any biodviersity harmed or lost? eg if wildflower meadow is lost, must the credit be for wildflower meadow and what about irreplaceable habitat such as ancient woodland?
  16. Will the requirement upon LPAs to step in where there is a breach of control, run counter to the usual concept of planning enforcement being discretionary (see NPPF para 58)?
  17. Thank you. I am an RTPI member in Canada. My employer, a regional environmental agency has an "Ecosystem Compensation Strategy" which has at its main premise "no impact" and "compensation as a last resort". Nice to see England applying the net gain principal at a national level. But do you think developers will try to apply "compensation" as a first choice vs. trying to avoid impacts?
  18. Does the Bill apply to Environmental Permits?
  19. What do you think will be the most significant change for everyday planning practice as a result of the Environment Bill?
  20. Does the bill extend beyone meal low water?
  21. What value do irreplaceable habitats have in Biodiversity Units?
  22. Can a Local Planning Authority set a higher relevant percentage of net gain in planning policy? What type of evidence would be needed to justify this this higher percentage?
  23. Hi, what are the implications for the planning red line and fees if large areas outside of the existing red line are proposed for compensation e.g. for solar farm development (already expensive)
  24. How does the liability for Net Dvelopment Gain Credits impact on viability and what priority will it take over say social housing?
  25. How will this impact upon the need for a Natural England or Defra Licenses? Especially for protected species


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