Environment Bill — Clause 95 — General Duty to Conserve and Enhance Biodiversity — 26 May 2021 at 15:40
The majority of MPs voted to require public bodies in England to act in accordance with relevant Local Nature Recovery Strategies when exercising their functions.
The amendment rejected in this vote was:
- Amendment 29, page 97, line 1, leave out subsection (5) and insert—
- ‘(5) After subsection (2) insert—
- (2A) The authority must act in accordance with any relevant local nature recovery strategy in the exercise of relevant functions, including—
- (a) land use planning and planning decisions;
- (b) spending decisions, including land management payments;
- (c) delivery of biodiversity gain; and
- (d) any other activities undertaken in complying with subsections (1) and (1A).”
The rejected amendment was accompanied by the following statement from its proposer:
This amendment would require public authorities to exercise relevant functions in accordance with Local Nature Recovery Strategies. This would ensure that decisions that affect the natural environment such as planning decisions, net gain habitat enhancements and targeted investment in environmental land management are informed by the Strategies.
The rejected amendment would have impacted Clause 95 of the Bill, which acted by amending the Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 which required public bodies in England to periodically consider what they can do to enhance biodiversity.
Local Nature Recovery Strategies were provided for by Clauses 97-99 of the Bill. The Bill provided for local authorities, combined authorities, national park authorities, the broads authority and Natural England to prepare such strategies which were required to include priorities, in terms of habitats and species, for recovering or enhancing biodiversity and potential measures relating to those priorities.
The requirement to "act in accordance with" the Local Nature Recovery Strategies is a very powerful requirement, it is far in excess of, for example "take into account", "have regard to", or "give due weight to".
-  Parliament's webpage on the Environment Bill, Parliament.uk
-  Explanatory notes to the Environment Bill, 30 January 2020, Parliament.uk
-  Environment Bill as of 27 November 2020. Parliament.uk
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||351 (+2 tell)||0||0||97.0%|
|LDem||0||9 (+2 tell)||0||100.0%|