Collington Winter Environmental

Biodiversity Net Gain Greater Manchester: How we can assist

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Biodiversity net gain Greater Manchester

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” for biodiversity.

However, over the years, biodiversity has declined in Greater Manchester and the UK, and as such, the BNG initiative was launched to leave nature in a measurably better state. Overall, there has been a positive response to the consultation from ecological consultants, developers, and landscape professionals.

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is being requested more frequently by Local planning authorities in Greater Manchester to inform planning applications for planning permission. The aim is to show how the proposed development will be of benefit to biodiversity and accompanying ecological features in a measurable way.

Is biodiversity net gain mandatory?

Following the passing of the Environment Bill, the Environment Act received Royal Assent in England in November 2021. Mandatory biodiversity gain for developments in England will be introduced through the Act. There is a two-year transition period before the net gain requirement becomes law (in autumn 2023).

Calculating biodiverity net gain

‘Biodiversity unit values’ will be assigned by metrics to every habitat on a site according to their relative importance for biodiversity. Comparisons can then be made between the existing value of a site and what will be delivered through development or management and post development. This may include an increase in natural habitats through retention and enhancement and/or creation, which goes over and above the environmental habitat originally on site.

Following a biodiversity net gain assessment, 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

The government website also provides a biodiversity metric 4.0 calculation tool which can help to determine your biodiversity unit score that translates into the standards of your local planning authority.

How can we assist with achieving BNG?

Our team of biodiversity net gain consultants and ecologists have helped numerous clients over the years, including policy guidance for biodiversity net gain in the Greater Manchester city region. It is important to note that this varies across each local planning authority in the country.

Biodiversity net gain, Greater Manchester is something that we are qualified and experienced in, and we can offer advice on planning projects. We are determined to offer you the support you need in order to reach the required mandatory biodiversity bracket.

Please get in touch if you would like further information about Biodiversity Net Gain, Greater Manchester, or biodiversity net gain plans. 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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