Government issues response to HoL Built Environment Committee Report on Environmental Regulations Impact

The Government’s response to the House of Lords (HoL) Built Environment Committee Report on the ‘Impact of Environmental Regulations on Development’ has been published.

image for illustration: Open Government Licence V3.0

… Government needs to reconcile environmental protection with the commitment to boosting development…

GOV.UK writes:

The Government welcomes the House of Lords Built Environment Committee’s focus on the impact of environmental regulations on development and the Committee’s report, published on 21 September 2023. We are grateful to the Committee and thank all those who provided evidence.

The Government is committed to taking forward planning reforms that are intended to not only deliver the housing that is needed but also to provide better protection for the environment. The Environment Act 2021 introduced new requirements for the environment. This includes mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain, so development results in improvements for nature, rather than simply preventing harm. Moreover, existing areas designated for environmental protections will continue to be upheld.

We want to ensure we are enhancing our environment alongside delivering the homes we need. With protection for wildlife, air quality, and ancient trees and woodlands, as well as strong encouragement for the provision of green infrastructure and the re-use of brownfield land, the National Planning Policy Framework complements the ambitions of our Environmental Improvement Plan for a cleaner, greener future.

We note the Committee’s concern that Government needs to reconcile environmental protection with the commitment to boosting development. There is a fine balance to strike between these interests, but we believe that through action we have, are and will be taking, that we will achieve this balance and achieve both goals. Details of the actions are set out further in response to specific recommendations.

The Government response to the Committee’s recommendations and conclusions is set out in full [at the link] below and includes input from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

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