It’s that time of year, when Business Link Magazine invites the region’s business leaders to offer up their predictions for the year ahead. It has become something of a tradition, given that we’ve been doing this now for over 30 years.
While none of us possess a crystal ball, it is uncanny how accurate some of these forecasts have been over the years.
Here, Business Link catches up with Nick Sanderson who is a Director at ecology, flood risk and arboriculture specialists RammSanderson.
On 19 October 2019, The Government released the latest update to the forthcoming Environment Bill and set within it was confirmation that all future projects involving the development of land will need to deliver a ‘measurable’ 10% biodiversity net gain. There is also a requirement to manage those enhancements for thirty years.
With the government now confirmed following the recent election it is clear that the Bill is likely to be passed in parliament. It has massive implications for house builders, farmers and land owners who may have land banks they are preparing for development as they may need to re-assess the layout of their site, to ensure this gain has been delivered, or risk planning refusal and project delays. The intention is clear, not only is the Government aiming to ‘conserve’ biodiversity, it intends to go further by insisting on ‘enhancement’.
I therefore not only predict an increase in the need to consult specialists who can help developers meet the requirements of the Bill, but I think there will also be a rise in the use of and value for low yield land as more and more land owners realise it can be used in order to meet the biodiversity net gain requirement of their proposed development.
We’re also flood risk specialists, so the unprecedented high levels of rainfall that have occurred over recent months have left many taking a keener interest in the weather and understanding the likelihood of flood affecting their land and properties. I’m not a weather forecaster, but I believe the realisation is dawning that climate change is a real threat, so I also predict that there will be a dramatic rise in the number and ferocity of campaigners demanding the Government to do more to tackle its effects.