Collington Winter Environmental
Habitat Bank Creation: What you need to know
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The habitat banking scheme was created as a result of the Environment Act, which was legally mandated in 2021, and introduced the concept of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG). Under the act, which will officially become mandatory at the end of 2023, developers are required to consider the long-term environmental impact of their projects. They are also required to minimise biodiversity loss and ensure the environment is left in a better state than it was before. This is where biodiversity net gain comes into play.
Biodiversity net gain can be implemented on-site and should be maintained for a minimum of 30 years. If biodiversity net gain cannot be completed on-site, or can only be partially completed on-site, the remainder can be accommodated off site.
Habitat banking has now been created to accommodate for the demand of delivering biodiversity net gain. Developers can use habitat banking to generate biodiversity units. These units can be purchased by a developer to ensure they comply with biodiversity net gain requirements.
Why is habitat bank creation required?
Local planning authorities often require habitat bank creation to offset the depletion of natural habitats caused by development. By making habitat banking a requirement, these authorities aim to safeguard the environment from adverse effects associated with development projects. This not only protects the immediate surroundings but also plays a crucial role in conserving natural resources for the benefit of future generations.
These requirements are commonly requested as part of planning applications for securing approval for proposed developments. Consequently, employing habitat banking approaches becomes instrumental in fulfilling these requirements and ensuring compliance with planning permissions.
Habitat bank creation also provides an alternative income stream for landowners and farmers as they can provide their land for a habitat banking scheme. They also retain ownership and management of the land whilst receiving tax-efficient annual payments.
Habitat bank creation
Our team of ecologists will collaborate with you to develop a long term management plan tailored to suit your development. We aim to achieve the optimal outcome for the natural environment in your specific location.
Our focus often involves establishing habitats such as species-rich woodlands, grasslands, wetlands, mixed shrub areas, or rewilding sites.
How large does a habitat bank need to be?
The size of a habitat bank depends on the specific requirements set by the local planning authority. A crucial consideration is the type and size of the development project it aims to mitigate.
Several factors contribute to determining the size of the habitat bank. These factors include the extent of habitat impacted by the development, the specific type of habitat, and the diversity of species it sustains. The objective is to create habitat banks that adequately compensates for the loss of natural habitat.
How can we assist?
Our team of ecologists and land managers have the knowledge and experience necessary to assist developers in meeting habitat banking requirements. Our team can assess your development site to determine which habitat banking methods would be suitable.
Our Ecology Director, Olivia Collington, holds a Natural England license. If you would like to find out more about the services we provide, feel free to contact us using the details below.
23 Bark Street East, 1st Floor, Bolton
01204 939 608