In 2021 we started work preparing for the introduction of the Environment Bill. Our work will focus on the transition to mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain, but we will also be looking at the other planning parts of the Bill including the Local Nature Recovery Strategies.
The Environment Bill covers targets, plans and policies for improving the natural environment; environmental reporting; the Office for Environmental Protection; waste and resource efficiency; air quality; environmental standards for products; water; nature and biodiversity; conservation covenants; and the regulation of chemicals. Defra's policy papers set out further details.
The Bill will bring in new requirements for planners and decision-makers in councils in relation to nature and biodiversity:
- Local Nature Recovery Strategies
- Biodiversity Net Gain
- Strengthened biodiversity duty on public authorities
- Strategic protected site and species strategies
- New tree felling consultation requirements
PAS has been commissioned by Defra to support councils in their efforts to get ready for the changes.
PAS wants local authority planners and members to get involved to help us decide how we best focus this support and what the priorities should be as the project evolves. You can check out the Planning for a Better Environment section of the PAS KHub forum and sign up to the PAS newsletter.
PAS ran workshops in May and June 2021 to get input from local planners and councillors. You can access the slides from the workshops for an overview of the current situation with biodiversity net gain and the Environment Bill and to see what we discussed with attendees.
The slides from our planners' events provide an introduction to the Environment Bill, what is happening with biodiversity net gain and what it means for local authorities.
We ran a workshop for London Boroughs on 15 July and slides from this event include a presentation from Natural England covering the Environment Bill and biodiversity net gain, as well as from the GLA on the London Plan context and the Urban Greening Factor.
We are also looking for individuals from local authorities with interest in the topic and a bit of time to form a stakeholder advisory group - contact Beccy Moberly at PAS if you’d like to get involved.
More to come...