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CPRE reaction to the launch of a consultation on ‘net gain’

CPRE reaction to the launch of a consultation on ‘net gain’

A consultation on ‘net gain’, launched yesterday (2 December) by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), is welcomed by CPRE, who has long since called for planning to consider the delivery of environmental outcomes as well as housing, in order to achieve sustainable development.

The consultation will explore the idea of making biodiversity net gain a mandatory part of our planning system, a commitment that was made in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, as well as exploring wider environment net gain approaches.

Simply put, the principle of net gain tries to marry the Government’s commitments to delivering 1 million homes, whilst leaving the environment in a better place. This consultation aims to iron out some of the key elements of putting this into practice and making the scheme work.

Rebecca Pullinger, Planning Campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said:

‘It is essential that the planning system contributes to the protection and enhancement of our natural environment. While taking a net gain approach is well intentioned, the government should focus on preventing development causing environmental harm in the first place, and not on offsetting avoidable harm with unrelated improvements elsewhere.

‘There must be measures that ensure developers do not use net gain as a way to build what they want, where they want. The devil will be in the detail as to whether these proposals can successfully deliver for the environment and local communities.’

CPRE look forward to responding to the consultation and will be working closely with its partners and government to develop a system that works both for people and the environment.

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