BNG Specialist: How we can assist

Biodiversity net gain (BNG) refers to the process whereby a development (or project) considers the environmental impact in terms of biodiversity.

BNG aims to ensure that biodiversity is left in a better state than before the development was completed. This can be achieved by avoiding biodiversity loss, retaining various habitat types and protecting any assets of strategic significance. BNG aims to secure habitat creation and preservation for at least the next 30 years.

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

BNG is now mandatory through the forthcoming Environment Act 2021. However, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) also requires a net gain approach which should be achieved in a measurable way.

What types of developments does BNG apply to?

As of 12 February 2024, BNG is mandatory for new planning applications for major developments made under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Major developments include residential developments with 10 or more dwellings or if the site area is greater than 0.5 hectares.

Biodiversity net gain was also made mandatory for small sites in April 2024. Small sites include residential developments where the number of dwellings is between 1 or 9 or if the site area is less than 0.5 hectares. Small sites also include commercial developments where floor space created is less than 1000 square metres or the overall site area is less than 1 hectare.

How can a BNG specialist assist?

If you are unsure of how mandatory biodiversity net gain may affect your planning application, you should contact your local planning authority immediately, as they can discuss your development plans in detail and whether they align with BNG. If they indicate that your development could be significantly impacted, we recommend that you contact an experienced BNG specialist as soon as possible.

A BNG specialist can discuss whether your development plans meet the required standards as well as any measures you may need to take in order to meet the biodiversity standards.

At Collington Winter, our team has strong experience meeting biodiversity net gain requirements and will provide guidance throughout the planning process. We can ensure that one of our experienced BNG specialists visits your development site to create and develop any necessary biodiversity net gain plans and any required biodiversity net gain assessments.

Our ecologists will complete a habitat survey, and the data is entered into a metric to measure changes to the natural environment, pre and post development. This metric is currently Defra Metric 4.0. This metric aims to calculate biodiversity net gain through biodiversity units. Landscape planting plans and management plans are also used to inform post development measures.

If the calculated biodiversity net gain units do not meet the required standards, our team can discuss on site mitigation methods or off-site biodiversity credits to help your project get back on track.

Why choose Collington Winter?

Our team of BNG consultants have helped numerous clients achieve BNG over the years. Biodiversity is something that we are qualified and experienced in, and we can offer expert advice on your development project. We are determined to offer you the support you need in order to reach the required mandatory biodiversity bracket.

Please get in touch if you would like further information about BNG assessments. We are happy to offer free CPD sessions on the Biodiversity Net Gain 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 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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