Collington Winter Environmental

Planning Conditions for Biodiversity Net Gain

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What is biodiversity net gain?

Biodiversity net gain (BNG) aims to ensure development and construction projects impact the environment in a positive way. BNG refers to the idea of ensuring that any development or land-use change results in an overall increase in biodiversity, rather than a loss. The concept of biodiversity net gain is becoming increasingly important as more and more development takes place around the world, and as the impacts of climate change become more severe.

The basic idea behind biodiversity net gain is that if a development project, such as a new housing development or a road, is going to result in the loss of habitats or species, then steps should be taken to mitigate those impacts by creating new habitats or protecting existing ones elsewhere. In other words, the development should result in a net increase in biodiversity, rather than a net loss.

Biodiversity net gain is often achieved through a combination of measures such as creating new habitats, restoring degraded habitats, and enhancing existing irreplaceable habitats. These measures can be carried out on-site, such as through the creation of green roofs or the planting of new trees, or off-site, such as through the restoration of nearby wetlands or the protection of existing forests. BNG is required for both small development projects and nationally significant infrastructure projects.

Our Ecologists at Collington Winter are up to date on the legislation surrounding planning conditions for biodiversity net gain and can effectively assist clients in delivering biodiversity net gain on their development projects. If you have any questions surrounding mandatory biodiversity net gain requirements then please get in touch today.

Biodiversity net gain planning conditions

Under the Environment Act 2021 and through the application of the national planning policy framework (nppf), anyone looking to obtain planning permission through a planning application (with a few exceptions) must deliver at least 10% biodiversity net gain. This net gain will be measured using Defra’s biodiversity metric 4.0 and habitats must be maintained for at least 30 years. Alongside these requirements, further implementations were induced including:

  • A strengthened legal duty for public bodies to conserve and enhance biodiversity
  • New BNG reporting requirements for local planning authorities
  • Mandatory special strategies for nature described as “Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS).

Further planning conditions for biodiversity net gain may require a survey of the site’s existing biodiversity, including habitat types and species present. An assessment of the impact that the proposed project will have on surrounding biodiversity and monitoring of the site’s biodiversity over time may also be needed.

When will BNG be mandatory?

Biodiversity net gain will become mandatory at the end of 2023, though it has already been in legislation since the Environment Bill 2021. Many local authorities already request BNG as a requirement to obtain planning permission to ensure developers are getting use to the new changes that will soon become law.

Once the new law comes into effect in November 2023, all new development sites and projects must deliver at least 10% in biodiversity net gain. This ultimately will ensure the development leaves the environment in a better state than it originally was. The net gain requirement will apply to projects that impact on habitats such as woodlands, wetlands, and grasslands, as well as to built environments.

How do you implement BNG?

Our ecologists can discuss whether your development plans meet the required standards. They can also determine any measures you may need to take in order to meet the biodiversity standards by carrying out consultations both on site and off site.

Our team has strong experience completing BNG and will provide guidance throughout the planning process. We can ensure that one of our experienced ecologists visit your development site to create and develop any necessary biodiversity net gain plans and any required BNG reports.

Our ecologists will complete a habitat classification assessment. The data from this assessment is then entered into a metric to measure changes to the natural environment, pre and post development. This metric is currently Natural England Defra Metric 4.0.

How can we assist?

At Collington Winter our team of ecologists are highly knowledgeable on the BNG policy guidance and have helped many clients with planning conditions for biodiversity net gain. Achieving net gain for biodiversity through development is something that we are qualified and experienced in, and we have assisted many clients in getting planning permission granted in England.

Our team’s experience and qualifications in BNG means we can support our clients pre and post development in order to reach the required mandatory biodiversity net gain bracket that is becoming law in late 2023.

To find out more how our team can help you with your biodiversity plans then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us, you can contact our Ecology Director, Olivia Collington, via email at olivia.collington@collingtonwinter.co.uk or via the online form below.

Registered Office

23 Bark Street East, 1st Floor, Bolton

BL1 2BQ

Phone

01204 939 608

Email

info@collingtonwinter.co.uk

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