The term 'natural environment' refers to the non-human-made surroundings and conditions in which all living and non-living things exist on Earth. The common concept of the natural environment encompasses two different components:
- Ecological units that operate as natural systems (such as soil, vegetation and so on).
- Universal natural resources (such as air and water).
The natural environment is in contrast with the 'built environment' which refers to areas that have been fundamentally transformed and influenced by human activity, such as cities, towns, infrastructure, and so on.
Construction plays a central role in transforming the natural environment into the built environment, and there are many considerations and restrictions that can apply before a project is given permission to proceed in terms of how it may influence the environment.
For example, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) may be required to ensure that the environmental effects of a proposed development are properly considered. An EIA provides the local planning authority with better information to make a more informed decision about whether permission should be granted and to allow imposition of more appropriate conditionsand obligations to mitigate possible negative impacts.
- Ancient woodland.
- Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
- Blue belt.
- Climate change science.
- Construction environmental management plan.
- Ecological network.
- Ecology and the built environment.
- Environment Agency.
- Environmental engineering.
- Environmental impact.
- Environmental Impact Assessment.
- Environmental modelling.
- Environmental permit.
- Environmental plan.
- Environmental policy.
- Environmental Protection Act.
- Environmental statement.
- Green belt.
- Greenhouse gases.
- Landscape design.
- Local green space.
- Local Nature Reserve.
- National nature reserves.
- National parks.
- Natural England.
- Nature improvement area.
- Protected species.
- Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI).
- Thermal environment.
- Tree preservation order.
- Village greens.
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