Earl Cathcart

Conservative - Excepted Hereditary

Became Member: 9th March 2007


Earl Cathcart is not a member of any APPGs
1 Former APPG membership
Eggs, Pigs and Poultry
Committee for Privileges and Conduct (Lords)
13th Sep 2016 - 9th May 2019
Administration and Works Committee (Lords)
8th Jun 2015 - 31st Aug 2016


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Earl Cathcart has voted in 356 divisions, and 5 times against the majority of their Party.

23 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Earl Cathcart voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 33 Conservative Aye votes vs 188 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 367 Noes - 214
2 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Earl Cathcart voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 16 Conservative Aye votes vs 194 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 327 Noes - 229
2 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Earl Cathcart voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 40 Conservative Aye votes vs 165 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 359 Noes - 188
28 Sep 2020 - Coronavirus Act 2020: Temporary Provisions - View Vote Context
Earl Cathcart voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Conservative Aye votes vs 166 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 99 Noes - 198
21 Jun 2022 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2022 - View Vote Context
Earl Cathcart voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Conservative Aye votes vs 88 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 28 Noes - 181
View All Earl Cathcart Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

View all Earl Cathcart's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Earl Cathcart, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


Earl Cathcart has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Earl Cathcart has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


Latest 8 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker whether the House of Lords Catering and Retail Services have been sourcing egg products from (1) Belgium, or (2) any other non-UK country; and what commitment they have, if any, to only sourcing eggs from British Lion producers.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee, to respond on his behalf. The Catering and Retail Service (CRS) source pasteurised egg yolk and egg white products from Cocovite, which are manufactured in Belgium; however CRS are continually working with suppliers to find a British alternative.

The Catering and Retail Service do however source free range whole eggs which are British Lion quality stamped.

8th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why Natural England have continued to block development for new homes since March 2022 in over 70 local planning authority areas.

Natural England’s role is to conserve and enhance the natural environment. This includes providing statutory advice on the impacts of plans and projects on protected sites based on the best available evidence. Natural England cannot block development but competent authorities, such as Local Planning Authorities (LPAs), must have regard to Natural England’s advice and act in accordance with applicable legislation and case law.

Nutrient pollution is an urgent problem affecting a wide range of habitats and species. Due to the excess levels of nutrients affecting many protected freshwater habitats and estuaries, Natural England has been required to advise 74 LPAs in England that new development cannot result in additional nutrient pollution. One way this can be done is through nutrient neutrality, by which developers secure mitigation for any additional nutrient pollution they are responsible for within the catchment.

The Government is committed to delivering housing in affected areas and are supporting local authorities and developers to identify suitable mitigation. There are several ways in which LPAs can satisfy themselves that planning permission can be granted.

The first credits from Natural England’s Nutrient Mitigation Scheme have now been sold in the Tees & Cleveland catchments. More credits will be available in the Tees this year and work is underway to identify suitable projects in other catchments. Several catchments also have successful mitigation schemes operated by local authorities or private organisations. A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Call for Evidence and Expressions of Interest for funding for local nutrient mitigation schemes closed recently, and funding decisions will be made as soon as possible.

16th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the finding in the Forestry Commission report Sustainable construction timber: sourcing and specifying local timber, published in 2016, that “timber-framed construction currently accounts for 75 per cent of new housing in Scotland, while the comparable figure for the UK as a whole is 25 per cent”; and what steps they intend to take in response.

No such assessment has been made.

The Net Zero Strategy and England Trees Action Plan committed to increase the use of timber in construction, and we encourage the use of timber in construction when safe to do so, as it can reduce the embodied carbon of a building. In the England Trees Action Plan, we committed to supporting timber in construction by providing up to £1.5m of support to develop innovative timber products through the Forestry Innovation Fund. We are also working to increase public demand for sustainably sourced domestic timber through timber procurement policies and encouraging research into barriers to uptake of timber, including looking at timber strength grades and the fire resistance of engineered timber structures.

16th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to creating a plan for both (1) new, and (2) existing, forests, and all tree species, that enables the UK forestry industry to (a) measure, and (b) value, carbon for owners, in order to (i) enhance and develop management of existing forestry, and (ii) encourage and incentivise the planting of new trees; and what assessment they have made of whether this could reduce the need for state support in the form of planting grants.

The Government recognises the need to unlock more private sector investment as set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan and HMG Green Finance Strategy. We have committed to raising at least £500 million in private finance every year by 2027 to support nature recovery in England, which will finance projects including woodland creation. The Government also supports the use of blended finance models to mobilise private investment alongside Government grants. This month, the Government launched the Big Nature Impact Fund which blends Defra grants with private investment finance for nature-based projects selling ecosystem services, including woodland creation and peatland restoration.

The Government supported the development of the Woodland Carbon Code, launched in 2011, to create a mechanism to allow landowners to sell woodland carbon. A total of 1,640 projects were registered under the Woodland Carbon Code across the UK by the end of June 2022, covering around 61 thousand hectares of woodland and projected to sequester 19.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over their lifetime. The Code provides a project and carbon registry, as well as carbon projection tools and protocols for measuring carbon in all types of woodland.

In March 2022, the UK Emissions Trading Scheme Authority published a call for evidence on the role of the UK Emissions Trading Scheme as a potential long-term market for both engineered and nature-based greenhouse gas removals. The call for evidence included questions regarding what impacts or opportunities this might present for the Woodland Carbon Code. The UK Emissions Trading Scheme Authority will publish a response in due course.

21st Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect Natural England will provide a solution to foul water and nutrient neutrality issues which will permit developments in affected areas to proceed.

The Government set out an initial package of measures to address nutrient pollution impacting protected sites in March: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nutrient-pollution-reducing-the-impact-on-protected-sites/nutrient-pollution-reducing-the-impact-on-protected-sites (and attached to this answer).


We are clear that nutrient neutrality can only be an interim solution whilst we return our protected sites to favourable condition. We are in close contact with impacted local planning authorities and developers, working closely with DLUHC, and will consider next steps shortly.

21st Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why Natural England has imposed up to a one year moratorium on developments for over 40 councils in England.

The Government has not imposed a moratorium on development. Further information regarding nutrient pollution impacts on protected sites and nutrient neutrality can be found at : https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nutrient-pollution-reducing-the-impact-on-protected-sites/nutrient-pollution-reducing-the-impact-on-protected-sites (and attached to this answer).

8th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Home Builders Federation Planning for Economic and Social Failure, published in March 2023, and its finding that Natural England's advice regarding nutrient neutrality and water neutrality potentially reduce new housing supply by 43,000 units.

Nutrient pollution is an urgent problem for our freshwater habitats and rivers, many of which are internationally important for wildlife. While the government recognises the need to protect these habitats, and is taking steps to address the underlying pollution, it is important to acknowledge the significant burden nutrient neutrality has placed on housebuilders despite the limited impact extra wastewater from residents in new developments has on waterbodies.

As of March 2022, 74 local planning authorities have received advice from Natural England, issued in line with their statutory duties and relevant case law, across 27 catchments (equating to 14% of England's land area) which has effectively stalled housing development in these areas given the lack of available mitigation schemes, creating a major barrier to the government's ambition of delivering 300,000 homes per year by the mid-2020s.

That is why DLUHC have launched the Local Nutrient Mitigation Fund which will boost the supply of mitigation available locally, by funding high quality bids submitted by Local Authorities. This will complement the Natural England-led Nutrient Mitigation Scheme which is already delivering the first credits in the Tees Catchment. We are also placing an obligation on water companies to upgrade wastewater treatment works in affected catchments by 2030, stopping pollution at source and reducing the mitigation burden on development.

We are keeping further possible actions under review.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to require all new (1) homes, and (2) industrial and commercial buildings, to have sufficient solar panels to meet the energy demands of that building.

The Government remains committed to meeting its target of net zero emissions by 2050 and recognises the important contribution that the energy efficiency of buildings has to make in meeting it. We must ensure that the energy efficiency standards we set through the Building Regulations for new homes put us on track to meet the 2050 target. From 2021, new homes will be expected to produce 31% less CO2 emissions compared to current standards, and from 2025, the Future Homes Standard will ensure that new homes produce at least 75% lower CO2 emissions compared to those built to current standards. We have also proposed an uplift in standards for new non-domestic buildings in 2021, and from 2025, the Future Buildings Standard will produce highly efficient non-domestic buildings which use low-carbon heat and have the best fabric standards possible.

The future is likely to see a mix of low carbon technologies used for heating and it is unlikely that there will be a one-size-fits all solution, so multiple technologies will play a role. We expect heat pumps will become the primary heating technology for new buildings under the Future Homes and Buildings Standards and that heat networks will also have an important role to play. There will also be a role, where appropriate, for other low-carbon technologies and renewable electricity generation such as solar photovoltaics.

The Building Regulations will continue to set a performance-based standard rather than mandating or banning the use of any technologies. This provides builders and developers with the flexibility to innovate and select the most practical and cost-effective solutions appropriate in any development. For example, many roofs are not suitable for solar photovoltaic panels because of the visual amenity, strength, or direction of the building.