Robert Webb and Fiona Webb of Webb Developments both attended the CAAV Autumn Briefing last week at Wyboston Lakes where the Levelling Up Bill core policies surrounding Net Zero Carbon, energy issues and taxation updates were discussed.
One of the points raised was the need for further land to ensure that the UK can reduce its carbon dioxide and improve the quality of its habitats. To help reduce the reliance on fossil fuel, more solar farms and wind farms are needed, which requires land and the infrastructure alone to serve them could mean literally millions of acres are needed.
More houses are required in the country but on the back of this BNG land is also required to improve habitats by at least 10%. Therefore providing more housing will mean more land is required to improve the habitat putting further pressure on land uses. At the same time, people are expecting to live on less dense schemes with more habitat land around them and whilst this sounds good, I wonder how realistic it is to balance the need to look after the environment with economic policy. A real challenge!
In addition, the population of the country is increasing and land is required to produce food. It occurred to me that all the policies coming out from the Government are in effect conflicting with each other by pressurising the use on land. For example, you cannot provide millions of acres of solar farms and thousands of acres of bio diversity net gain land to offset housebuilding and still having plenty of land to produce food for the country. It is right to conserve the habitat but these technologies are woefully behind and it will take a number of years for this to reach a point where each of these land uses can work in harmony. There is much to do and it will take a generation to do it!