Developers are being warned by the Secretary of State for Housing, James Brokenshire, that action will be taken against those who are ignoring their obligations to consider the impact of a project on local wildlife and protect their habitats. Emphasising that they must avoid any unnecessary loss of habitats.
This warning comes from a rising concern over the increased use by developers of netting placed on trees and hedgerows ahead of building work near to housing developments to stop birds nesting. While netting is sometimes used during construction where trees or hedges may need to be removed its use can lead to wildlife becoming trapped or injured. The Wildlife Countryside Act 1981 protects birds and requires that mitigation plans are produced by developers to show how negative effects on protected species will be avoided or managed during the sites development.
The government has announced that within its forthcoming Environment Bill there will be a requirement for developers to deliver biodiviersity net gain. This will require habitats for wildlife to be left in a measurably better state than they were before any development. Brokenshire has also not ruled out “further action to protect our country’s valuable ecological system”.