Collington Winter Environmental
Habitat Banking for Delivering Biodiversity Net Gain
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What is habitat banking?
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.
Most planning authorities now require all development and infrastructure projects in England to deliver and offset a minimum uplift of 10% in order to grant planning permission.
Biodiversity value of land is measured in biodiversity units. To calculate the uplift, the number of units is increased by a minimum of 10%. This value is the number that will be required to be delivered in order to obtain development planning permission.
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 “conservation credits”. These credits can be purchased by a developer to ensure they comply with biodiversity net gain requirements.
Habitat banks are areas of land upon which habitats can be created to significantly improve biodiversity. Habitat/ environment banks are typically around 10 to 100 hectares in size. However, there is no maximum size for the habitats, and they often incorporate a number of small areas of land across one site.
The type of habitats created depend on the land operations and location. Our consultants will work with you on your project to decide which types of habitats will create the best outcome for nature on the land. The types of habitats created by our team typically include species rich woodland, wetland, grassland,mixed scrub or re-wilding sites. The land used is typically low yielding with plenty of opportunity to improve biodiversity.
How can we assist?
We are a team of ecologists and biodiversity net gain experts who can assist developers in obtaining planning permission in various ways. We can assist developers in attaining the required biodiversity net gain units through habitat banking. We can also aid in securing them for 30 years to gain planning permission for their future developments.
We source and provide biodiversity net gain units and take care of the management and reporting for the required 30 years. This allows you to focus on your development projects.
Our biodiversity net gain consultants have helped numerous clients over the years. Achieving BNG and avoiding biodiversity loss through development is something that we are experienced and qualified in. We can offer advice on planning projects and landscape management plan requirements.
Some of the additional services our team can offer include:
- Biodiversity net gain guidance
- Biodiversity net gain assessments
- Site condition assessments
- Biodiversity net gain mitigation
There are three stages of BNG assessments, and we assist our clients during the very early stages of development, including promotions and land purchases. We can complete an informal initial assessment for sites of interest. This helps our clients understand the probable implications and costings of Biodiversity Net Gain from the offset.
Please get in touch if you would like further information about biodiversity net gain, or biodiversity net gain plans. We are happy to offer free CPD sessions on the biodiversity good practice principles and how we can help your schemes achieve this.
4 Bark Street East, 1st Floor, Bolton
01204 939 608