This article was first published in Property Law Journal (May 2022, #397).
On 18 May 2021, the Environment Secretary George Eustace gave a speech at Delamere Forest noting that that the UK is "one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world". He announced a ‘renewed focus on nature’s recovery’, in support of which the Environment Bill would include a power to refocus the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (the Habitats Regulations) – this is now section 113 of the Environment Act (EA) 2021. A small working group of experts was commissioned to consider appropriate changes. Their summary of findings was published in March 2022 alongside the government’s Nature Recovery Green Paper (Green Paper), proposing changes to Habitats Regulations Assessments.