Biodiversity offsetting, peat, conservation covenants and newts on the move

Defra, the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has issued a consultation paper (Green Paper) on biodiversity offsetting and development.  This paper represents a major government commitment to the introduction of biodiversity offsetting as a means to mitigate the environmental impact of development.  Government plans to have definite proposals ready by the end of this year.  Comments are invited by 7 November.

How is it likely to work?  There are already trials underway and Defra has developed a simple ‘metric’ to determine the ‘biodiversity units’ lost to development, and therefore how many units must be offset by positive environmental work elsewhere.  The Green Paper gives a simple example of how this works for a supermarket development on a site which is part derelict, part arable land and part woodland.

A number of questions flow from this: must replacement be like for like, or can one sort of habitat be substituted for another?  Hedgerows in the pilot schemes must be replaced by hedgerows for example, on a ratio of up to 3 new for one lost.

Is this a developer’s charter?  Continue reading “Biodiversity offsetting, peat, conservation covenants and newts on the move”


Community Infrastructure Levy: a video update

This video has been created from a series of narrated powerpoint slides to explain the evolution of Community Infrastructure Levy from the proposed Planning Gain Supplement. It focuses on the rural and agricultural aspects of the new levy and was originally made for final year Land Management students at Harper Adams University College.

Community Infrastructure Levy: a video presentation

A simple video presentation to introduce Community Infrastructure Levy.

This briefing is primarily for the final year Land Management students at Harper Adams.  This is the first time I have used YouTube.  Despite the limitations of a first effort I hope it might be of interest to a wider audience interested in how Planning Gain Supplement evolved into the new Levy.  There are a couple of examples from some of the first Charging Schedules prepared by local planning authorities in the London Borough of Redbridge, and Sherwood and Newark in Nottinghamshire.  These are notable for the stark contrast between the two approaches.

The video can be seen on YouTube, here.

I would be interested in viewers’ comments on this approach, either here or on YouTube itself.