Nature reserves in UK may be fair game for developers, if they "offset" the damage on less valuable real estate

© Emmet, scanned from The Best Cartoons of Punch, 1952

It's not just in America where people depend on housing to keep the economy going, nor is it just Ryan Avent the reand Matt Yglesias and Edward Glaeser who are saying that environmental restrictions or heritage regulations are keeping the economy down. In Britain, it is government policy, to loosen the shackles that are keeping builders from building. Now the Conservatives are looking at what they call:

...a new “biodiversity offset system” to let large developers would be given a right to build on one nature reserve or protected area, if they build one somewhere else.... “We need a system in which unavoidable net impacts on biodiversity of new development are more than compensated by restored and created habitats elsewhere through an efficient market."

In other words, offset green space, animal life and the lungs of the country on cheaper land where there isn't so much demand for suburban tract real estate. That's the efficient market. Christopher Hope of the Telegraph continues:

The review said that it would "revolutionise conservation in England by delivering restoration, creation and long-term management of in excess of 300,000 hectares of habitat over 20 years" and "incentivise location of development at sites of lower nature value".

What a terrific solution to the land problem; just ship the green stuff further out. What could possibly go wrong. Coming to North America, soon.

Tags: Greenwashing | United Kingdom | Urban Life | Urban Planning