Sunday, 16 December 2018

Offsetting ‘will help developers’

CONSERVATIONISTS are objecting to the Government’s plans for “biodiversity offsetting” where alternative sites and habitats are provided to replace those

CONSERVATIONISTS are objecting to the Government’s plans for “biodiversity offsetting” where alternative sites and habitats are provided to replace those lost through development.

The Open Spaces Society, which is based in Henley, claims it will lead to a net loss of open space and that the new green spaces will be moved away from communities and be less convenient to visit.

General secretary Kate Ashbrook said: “We fear that offsetting will be used as a pretext to allow unacceptable development. It is impossible to create a new natural habitat immediately. Heaths, moors and woods can take decades to grow and become ecologically rich.

“In any case, open space is particularly valuable when it’s close to people’s homes. The effect of these proposals is likely to be that the spaces are shifted away from people.

The society has called for registered common land, such as Gillotts Field, to be prevented from becoming offsetting sites.

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