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The Environment Act 2021

The Environment Act 2021 received Royal Assent in November and it aims to ensure a range of environmental protection measures in England are adhered to. This includes a range of opportunities for farmers and land owners, but potentially a whole raft of new legislation and third party agreements to navigate.

Developers will also have to ensure amongst other things that all new developments deliver a 10% increase in biodiversity to be managed for at least 30 years along with a biodiversity Gain Site Register to be implemented and maintained after each site has been completed for a 30 year period.

Other new measures include a new Species Conservation Strategy which Local Planning Authorities will need to safeguard, along with organisations such as Natural England and other LPAs.

There will also be the introduction of five principles which all organisations must have regard which are:

•  Integration (of environment protection in policy making)

•  Prevention (to avert environment damage)

•  Precautionary (to the possibility of environmental harm)

•  Reification at source where possible

•  Polluter pays (both in mitigation and compensation)

There will also be legally binding and long term targets on air quality, biodiversity, water, resource efficiency and waste reduction.

The Act is certainly wide ranging and overtime will affect all businesses, so it is important to understand how it could impact and influence your business activities in the future, to ensure you don’t fall foul of any new laws.

It is sensible now as a starting point to review any long standing contractual arrangements you have in place to ensure you can still meet your future obligations and to determine if this new legislation will affect them in any way.

Paul Burbidge can be contacted at