More than a dozen hectares of forest, open land and water in Worksop and Retford developed upon
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The developments – which include homes, industrial buildings, transport and utility sites among other uses – have been built on areas such as grassland, forests and waterways, including lakes, canals and reservoirs.
Under legislation derived from the EU, Natural England instructs new developments to be nutrient-neutral, meaning developers must demonstrate their plans will not add to the ecological burden on local habitats, or pay for mitigation if they do.
However, this requirement will be watered down to become guidance under the changes proposed.
Meanwhile, the latest figures from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show 14.8 hectares of forest, open land and water in Bassetlaw has been converted into developed use from 2019-20 to 2021-22. It accounted for 4.6 per cent of the total land use change completed in Bassetlaw in the three years to March 2022.
In total, 170.1ha of non-developed land, which includes but is not limited to forest, open land, water, agricultural land, vacant sites and residential gardens, were developed upon in the three years to March 2022.
Across the UK, 48,500ha of non-developed land were built upon, of which 4,800 were forest, open land or water – 1ha is a square of land with sides 100 metres long.
Mr Gove's plans intend to provide an additional 100,000 homes in England by 2030, saying: “We are committed to building the homes this country needs and to enhancing our environment.”
However, the new plans follow the Conservatives backing off on house-building targets in December after a revolt from backbench MPs.
In May, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he would loosen greenbelt building restrictions and “back the builders” to increase the number of homes built.
The figures show 9,600ha of greenbelt land had been converted into developed use between 2019 and 2022, of which 1,100 were for residential use, compared with 14,200 hectares of non-greenbelt land developed for residential use.
In Bassetlaw, 82ha of land were built on for residential purposes from 2019-22, although this includes land previously developed and non-developed.