Biodiversity and the impact on housing

How are developers tackling biodiversity? What are the implications for planning?

In recent years, there have been huge biodiversity losses globally and, at a macro level, it is now on a par with climate change as one of the biggest challenges facing the future of life on earth.

The UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson recently stated that “tackling climate change and biodiversity loss” is the government’s “number one international priority”. In many ways, they go hand in hand with one another.

But how is this relevant to housebuilding and what can we do about it?

At a very basic level, we all rely upon biodiversity – without plants, there would be no oxygen, we rely on bees and other species for pollination, and trees are very effective at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It is more than that though – as Jeremy Clarkson noted in his recent TV show, Clarkson’s Farm, if you take a drive in the countryside you have far fewer dead insects on the windscreen than even 20 years ago; you may feel that is good thing, but it is a simple marker that biodiversity is being threatened.

Every time we dig up a field, clear marshes, cut down trees and build houses in their place, we risk damage to biodiversity.

Who among us would not prefer to have views over a wildflower meadow to a concrete car park?

The actions taken do not need to be particularly costly or have a huge impact on plot numbers.


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



Read other articles from issue three or you can explore the full report here.