Collington Winter Environmental

Biodiversity Net Gain Manchester: How we can assist

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Biodiversity net gain 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” of 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.

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is being requested more frequently by Local planning authorities in Manchester to inform 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 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 in 2023. 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.

Calculating biodiverity net gain

Comparisons can be made between the existing value of a site and what will be delivered through development or managemeant and post development. This may include an increase in natural habitats and ecological features through retention and enhancement and/or creation, which goes over and above the environmental habitat originally on site.

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 the Greater Manchester combined authority.

How can we assist with achieving BNG?

Our Greater Manchester ecology unit has helped numerous clients over the years, including policy guidance for biodiversity gain in Manchester. 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, 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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