New house building rules to protect Britain’s wildlife

New rules for housing developers may be introduced in a bid to protect Britain’s wildlife, the Government has revealed.

The report, published this month by the Ministry for Housing, warns that builders have to do more to ensure they are protecting specific species, such as hedgehogs and nesting birds.

Under the new plans, developers will be ordered to integrate new features into buildings and housing estates, including ‘hedgehog highways’ and hollow swift bricks – installed into the walls of new build homes to allow birds to nest safely.

In future planning applications, developers will be expected to submit proposals evidencing how they plan to implement such features, as well as how new habitats can be created to replace those removed. This may include the planting of new trees, drainage areas for wetlands, and green meadows.

The announcement comes after a petition calling for more protections for wildlife reached over half a million signatures.

Commenting on the plans, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said: “Building the new homes this country needs must not come at the detriment of our natural heritage.

“It’s right that as we deliver houses for people, we must also provide homes for wildlife too – whether that’s for hedgehogs, frogs, newts or birds.

“The public have told us that protecting wildlife is important to them – so my message to housebuilders is to harness this support and get building in a way that protects the environment for the next generation.”

To learn more about the new measures, please click here.

Ian West, Partner at Carter Lemon Camerons, said: “This move is in keeping with government policy to improve the environment and safeguard the countryside.

“However, these measures will add to planning and construction costs and possible planning delays all of which are likely to be borne by the consumer.”

For help and advice on your planning application or any other development matter, please get in touch with our expert team.