Habitat Banking for Planning and Development

What is habitat banking?

Habitat banking is a conservation tool that allows developers to compensate for unavoidable impacts on habitats by creating or preserving habitat elsewhere. It operates through the creation of credits, which represent a certain amount of habitat. Developers can purchase credits to offset the impacts of their projects on natural areas.

The goal of habitat banking is to conserve and manage habitats and ecosystems in a sustainable manner. This should be alongside opportunities for economic growth and development. This approach helps improve biodiversity net gain and ecological functions whilst mitigating any negative environmental impacts a development may have.

habitat banking

Why is habitat banking required?

Habitat banking is often required by local planning authorities as a means of compensating for the loss of natural habitats due to development. By requiring habitat banking, local planning authorities aim to ensure that development projects do not negatively impact the environment. This will also contribute to the long term preservation of natural resources for future generations.

These requirements are often requested as part of planning applications to obtain planning permission for proposed developments. As a result, using habitat banking methods can help to meet these requirements.

One method is through creating habitat banks in partnership with Environment Bank. Simply register for an initial desk-based assessment for your site. Following this, our ecologists will visit your site to discuss which habitat options are best for your development site.

What types of habitats can be created?

At Collington Winter, our team of ecologists will work with you to create a plan for a habitat that will work for your development. We will create the best outcome for nature in your location.

We typically look to create species rich woodland, grassland, wetland, mixed shrub or rewilding sites.

How large does a habitat bank need to be?

The size of a habitat bank varies depending on the specific requirements of the local planning authority. The type and size of the development project it is intended to offset can be an important factor.

The size of the habitat bank may be based on a variety of other factors. These can include the area of habitat impacted by the development project, the type of habitat being protected, and the species it supports. The goal is to create a bank that provides sufficient compensation for the loss of natural habitat.

How can Collington Winter assist?

At Collington Winter, our ecologists 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.

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


Head Office: 01204 939 608

Dumfries Office: 01387 378208

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