Biodiversity Net Gain England: Achieving BNG

Biodiversity Net Gain England: Understanding BNG

Biodiversity net gain (BNG) is an approach to development whereby developers consider the environmental impact a project will have in terms of biodiversity. It aims to ensure the biodiversity is left in a better state than before the development was completed for local people and future generations. This is done by avoiding loss of biodiversity and retaining natural habitats and ecological features.

Biodiversity Net Gain is now being requested more frequently by local planning authorities to inform planning applications. The aim is to demonstrate how the proposed development will be of benefit to biodiversity in a measurable manner.

Following the passing of the Environment Bill, biodiversity gain for developments in England will be introduced through the forthcoming Environment Act. Following this, any development will be halted if it fails to meet the requirements. However, BNG is already required by the National Planning Policy Framework.

New rules which come into force from 12 February 2024 mean that biodiversity net gain will become a mandatory component for all development projects.

biodiversity net gain cambridge

Biodiversity Net Gain aims

 

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is a policy in the UK aimed at ensuring that new developments have a positive impact on biodiversity. The main aims of delivering Biodiversity Net Gain in the UK are:

  • Enhancing biodiversity: BNG aims to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state than it was before development takes place. This is achieved by ensuring that the biodiversity value of a site after development is higher than it was before. In cases where a development affects biodiversity, developers must ensure the provision of additional suitable natural habitats and ecological features, surpassing the impacted area by at least 10% compared to the initial baseline.
  • No net loss: BNG aims to ensure that there is no net loss of biodiversity as a result of development activities. This means that any loss of biodiversity due to construction or other development activities should be compensated for elsewhere.
  • Improving ecosystem services: BNG seeks to enhance the provision of ecosystem services, such as pollination, water purification, and climate regulation, which are crucial for human well-being.
  • Habitat creation and restoration: BNG encourages the creation and restoration of habitats, including wetlands, woodlands, grasslands, and other ecosystems that support a diverse range of species.
  • Connectivity and green infrastructure: BNG promotes the creation of green corridors and connectivity between irreplaceable habitats, allowing wildlife to move freely and ensuring genetic diversity within populations.
  • Sustainable development: Biodiversity Net Gain aims to integrate biodiversity conservation with economic development. It emphasises the importance of sustainable land use planning and construction practices.
  • Adaptive management: BNG promotes the concept of adaptive management, which involves monitoring the biodiversity outcomes of a development and making adjustments as needed to achieve the desired net gain.
  • Compliance with legal requirements: BNG aligns with existing legal requirements related to biodiversity conservation in the UK, including the Wildlife and Countryside Act and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations. The Environment Act 2021 will make BNG a legal planning system requirement.
  • Public engagement and education: It encourages public engagement and education about biodiversity conservation, helping to raise awareness and foster a culture of environmental stewardship.
  • Long-term Sustainability: BNG aims for the long-term sustainability of biodiversity gains, ensuring that they are maintained for at least 30 years.

Biodiversity metric

The biodiversity metric serves as a tool to gauge how a development or alteration in land management will impact the biodiversity value of a site. This includes activities like constructing houses, establishing woodlands, or cultivating wildflower meadows.

This metric enables you to:

  • Evaluate the biodiversity unit worth of a specific land area.
  • Provide a consistent means of showcasing biodiversity gains or losses.
  • Quantify and acknowledge direct effects on biodiversity.
  • Compare different proposals for a development site, whether they involve both on-site and off-site habitat creation or enhancement.

It aids in the process of designing, planning, and making informed land management decisions that prioritise biodiversity. The metric computes values in terms of ‘biodiversity units’, which are determined by considering factors like habitat size, quality, and location.

Our team of ecologists and landscape architects have helped numerous clients over the years. Our clients have ranged from minor developments to major applications. We have assisted with matters regarding policy guidance for biodiversity net gain in England.

If you would like to find out more about the services we provide, feel free to contact us using the details below.

How can Collington Winter assist with biodiversity net gain in England?

Collington Winter Environmental are experts in biodiversity net gain planning and have helped numerous clients over the years. It is important to note that this varies across each local authority in the country. Completing net gain for biodiversity through development is something that we are qualified and experienced in.

We assist all types of developers in achieving BNG to ensure planning permission is granted in England.

We are determined to offer you the support you need in order to reach the required mandatory biodiversity bracket. If you would like to find out more about biodiversity net gain, England, feel free to contact us using the details below.

We can assist with biodiversity net gain by providing: 

Please get in touch if you would like further information about BNG. We can also develop habitat management and monitoring plans. We are happy to offer free CPD sessions on the BNG principles and how we can help your schemes achieve this.

Our Ecology Director, Olivia Collington, holds a Natural England license. If you would like to find out more about the ecosystem services we provide, feel free to contact us using the details below.

Contact Us

Registered Address

23 Bark Street East, 1st Floor, Bolton, BL1 2BQ

Cambridge Office

Future Business Centre, Cambridge Campus, Kings Hedges Road, Cambridge, CB4 2HY

Telephone

Head Office: 01204 939 608

Dumfries Office: 01387 378208

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