Householders and wildlife conservation

Date petition submitted: 
06 July 2017
Petition presented by: 
Sian Berry AM,
Petition presented at: 
London Assembly Plenary

Summary of petition

“We call on the Mayor of London to support a scheme to give every householder when they move a chance to have a direct impact on wildlife conservation. Our campaign wants his backing for a scheme to allow for a very small sum of money, deducted from the commissions involved in the buying, selling or renting property, being used to provide a token to purchase new homes for wildlife, such as bird boxes, for the walls or garden of their new home. The Mayor’s existing policies support improving biodiversity in planning new homes, and the Assembly has published a report to make these policies even better. But this idea could make much more of a difference by creating homes for nature, such as bird or bat boxes, whenever a home changes hands. With the Mayor’s support for this in principle, organisations who can take the idea forward in a practical way, such as estate agent bodies, housebuilders and the Environment Secretary, will be encouraged to add their support and make it happen.”

Response information

Response title: 
Mayor's response
Name of person responding: 
The Mayor
Response date: 
30 August 2017
"Thank you for your letter of 20 July submitting the petition asking me to support a scheme to increase biodiversity in London. I am sorry for the delay in replying. The petition asked me to support, in principle, a scheme by which a commission would be taken from the sale or letting of each home in London and used to purchase something that would improve London's biodiversity. This would be through its use as a token for the home owner, tenant, letting agent or estate agent, to purchase things like bird or bad boxes, or bee-friendly flowers, from participating companies. The principle behind the petition- increasing London's biodiversity- is an excellent one that I support. I will be setting out a range of policies to support and increase biodiversity in London through my new London Plan and forthcoming London Environment Strategy. I also work with partners such as London Wildlife Trust to promote guidance about how to improve gardens and buildings for wildlife. I have some concerns about the practicalities of what the petition proposes; for instance, letting agent fees are due to be banned in the coming year, and so there will not in future be any transaction cost from which to deduct a commission. I would therefore encourage the petitioner to speak to companies involved in sales and lettings, as well as their representative bodies such as the National Association of Estate Agents and the Association of Residential Letting Agents, to assess their willingness to be involved in his idea, and to get a greater understanding of the practicalities involved in setting it up. If there is a willingness from these organisations to get involved in such a scheme, I would welcome an update from the petitioner about how this scheme could be taken forwards."