In the last couple of days the Tory leadership has been making a determined effort to show that green Conservatism is alive and kicking. Yesterday George Osborne announced ten new green initiatives in advance of Wednesday's Budget. Speaking to the Wildlife Trust today David Cameron has announced that Nick Herbert MP, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will investigate the practicalities of setting up a scheme that will ensure any development that damages the environment makes a compensating investment in the environment elsewhere.
The Tory scheme was first reported by The Guardian in February. A cost of £5,000 per average house was mentioned by that newspaper at the time although ConHome doesn't expect the Tory proposal to be so expensive. Nonetheless, it could significantly raise the cost of housebuilding but would release enormous sums for investment in new parkland or for protecting areas of outstanding natural beauty.