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Biodiversity offsetting: a new threat to the countryside?

28 July 2013

 

The Government is expected to publish a green paper on biodiversity offsetting on Tuesday (30 July). The scheme could mean that developments would get the go-ahead if they provide biodiversity offsets for the habitat that was damaged or destroyed. CPRE is concerned that the scheme has the potential to have a negative impact overall on the landscape and habitats.

Neil Sinden, CPRE’s Policy and Campaigns Director, says:

‘Biodiversity offsetting will be unacceptable if it is used to lower the bar in terms of protection for important sites and make it easier for developers to push through damaging schemes. Fundamentally, if offsetting is to happen, it should be as a last resort.

Neil concludes: ‘There are many questions that need to be answered. In practice, how could a developer replace a mile of ancient hedgerow with three times the length of new planting and say that is sufficient mitigation? Many habitats are simply irreplaceable and integral to the character of our landscape.’

 

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