Green cities are the future, and the UK is well on its way to ensuring all new developments create a better space for the urban wildlife alongside the new homes being built. In today’s modern world, people want homes built by developers who care about the environment, and with the Environment Act 2021, new developments will help improve how green the UK is. Many homes in the cities of the UK don’t have enough green spaces nearby, and when someone wants to go for a nice walk, you often have to go out into the countryside. However, with improved environmental and wildlife conservation efforts, the green cities of the future are closer than ever before. Read on to learn more.
Planning For Nature
When you begin planning a development, most of the focus in the past has been on where to place the houses, how to order the streets, and which materials to use. However, during the planning stages, you should also be planning for nature and how you are going to incorporate the environment and wildlife into the project. By tackling this early, you should have a good understanding of what surveys you need to conduct, what laws you need to follow, and how you can protect the local wildlife, plants, trees while providing homes.
For example, a bat survey is one of many you will need in order to protect the wildlife living in the area you’re planning on developing. Many species of bats are endangered, and they are vital to the ecosystem, so when you’re looking for more information for your housing project and expert advice on why you need to arrange a bat survey, head over to batsurveys.co.uk. They can provide expert surveys to help you plan ahead, and receive a report that allows you to get approval for your planning permission.
With all this in mind, you can plan a development that will provide prospective buyers with the peace of mind that their new home has added to the environment rather than taking away vital resources from the local wildlife habitats. Additionally, you will also be contributing to the protection of endangered trees, plants, animals, and even bees by creating green spaces within your development that residents can enjoy for years to come.
The Environment Act 2021
The Environment Act 2021 saw the establishment of the Office for Environmental Protection, which will act as the authority for green initiatives across England and Northern Ireland. Within the act are five principles that organisations will need to pay a fee to uphold, which is similar to the Data Protection Act 2018 and how all businesses handling personal data need to pay a fee to the ICO, Information Commissioner’s Office. The implementation of these principles aims to put the environment at the centre of companies’ policies to step towards a greener, carbon-neutral UK.
Additionally, the Environment Act 2021 also leg to the biodiversity net gain initiative, which drives developers to increase the biodiversity of their projects by at least 10% by the completion of the build. The biodiversity net gain will help make our cities greener as housing developments take wildlife and the environment conservation to the next level by creating habitats and enhancing existing ones. This will encourage the growth of protected trees, plants and the local wildlife, which will improve the overall environment for all. Furthermore, by improving how green our local areas are, we can also improve the air quality in more densely populated cities.
Over the years, many developers shied away from green infrastructure in favour of traditional methods of sourcing materials and building. However, green infrastructure is not as scary as many may think. The first step is sourcing materials from sustainable suppliers and using building practices that don’t negatively impact the environment. By implementing biodiversity net gain and your wildlife conservation into your planning stages, you are already on the way to using green infrastructure in your development project. Once you begin, you can look into more advanced options, such as including ports that allow for electric cars to be charged at home, as more people are opting for fully electric or duel cars and many company vehicles are now electric as businesses are attempting to reduce their carbon emissions.
Providing A Home For Nature
Once you start building, it’s time not only to provide a home for prospective buyers but for nature as well. As you planned for the environment and wildlife conservation in your design stages alongside the relevant surveys, you should have a good idea of where you will be putting the habitats for the local wildlife. However, as you begin building, you may come across obstacles, which is why it is always a good idea to have an expert ecologist on hand to help you make changes when facing these issues. They will help you decide on the best places to enhance the habitats and encourage wildlife to come back into the area once the development project has been completed.
Many areas of your plot may have already been designated to be left untouched by the buildings and gardens, but this doesn’t mean you can improve on these wild areas of your development. You can increase the amount of life in these locations by adding extra vegetation to the area suitable for the animals living there. Once you have done this, you should see a significant increase in your biodiversity net gain, leading you closer to the desired 10% increase to be in line with the Environment Act 2021. It’s essential to follow these laws, to ensure you won’t get shutdown.
However, as we aim for the green cities of the future, you should also consider how you can increase your efforts on top of what is legally required. By becoming a greener organisation and implementing increased efforts for wildlife and environmental conservation, you will attract more young first-time buyers who are more conscious of their impact on the environment than their older counterparts. This will improve the number of younger generations trying to get on the property ladder, as they will be able to use government initiatives to help with the deposit, which will improve the housing market as a whole with more people in the homes of their dreams.