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Biodiversity Net Gain Cambridge: How we can assist

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Biodiversity Net Gain Cambridge

Biodiversity Net Gain is an approach to development that aims to leave the natural environment in a better state than it was before the development project took place. Previously, planning policy has encouraged UK construction and developments to achieve “no net loss” of biodiversity. However, over the years, biodiversity has declined in Cambridge and the UK, and as such, the BNG initiative was launched to leave nature in a measurably better state.

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is being requested more frequently by Greater Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire local planning authorities to determine planning applications for planning permission. Development will be halted if a planning application does not meet the BNG requirements. The aim is to show how the proposed development leaves biodiversity in a good condition and will benefit accompanying ecological features and sites of special scientific interest in a measurable way.

Is biodiversity net gain mandatory?

Following the passing of the Environment Bill, mandatory biodiversity gain for developments in England will be introduced through the forthcoming Environment Act 2021. There will be a two year transition period however measurable biodiversity net gain is required for national planning policy framework.

As well as detailing the developments impact on biodiversity, developers must also use mitigation techniques if the development does not meet required standards of the South Cambridgeshire District Council.

Calculating biodiverity net gain

BNG can be calculated through the DEFRA biodiversity metric 4.0, which requires a limited number of factors. These factors include:

 The type of habitat (both on and off site)

  • Any locations (if they are local environment priorities)
  • The size of habitat parcels in kilometres or hectares
  • The condition of any habitat parcels

How can we assist with achieving BNG?

Our biodiversity consultants have helped numerous clients over the years, including with policy guidance for biodiversity gain from the Cambridge City Council and relevant national legislation. Achieving net gain for biodiversity through development is something that we are qualified and experienced in, and we can offer advice on planning projects.

Please get in touch if you would like further information about Biodiversity Net Gain, Cambridge, and supplementary planning documents (SPD). We are happy to offer free CPD sessions on the Biodiversity Net Gain Principles and how we can help your schemes achieve this.

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