Biodiversity Net Gain Cambridge: Understanding BNG
What is Biodiversity Net Gain?
Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) refers to the process used by developers to consider the environmental impact that the project may have in terms of biodiversity. It aims to ensure the biodiversity of the area is left in a better state than it was prior to completion of the project. Developers can achieve biodiversity net gain by mitigating biodiversity loss, retaining various habitat types and protecting any assets of strategic significance.
Due to relevant national legislation, Biodiversity Net Gain is soon to become mandatory in all parts of England, including Greater Cambridge. Most local planning authorities are now requesting Biodiversity Net Gain to determine planning applications.
Biodiversity Net Gain Cambridge
In order to protect, grow and enhance the Greater Cambridge area, South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council are encouraging biodiversity net gain of 20 per cent following measures contained in their supplementary planning document (SPD).
Under the Environment Act 2021, a development project must increase the biodiversity of an area by 10% or more. This means that Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Councils have doubled the BNG requirement for developments in the area by increasing the requirement to 20%. Biodiversity units will be attainable from the Lower Valley Farm BNG scheme in Fulbourn if BNG requirements cannot be met on South Cambridgeshire sites.
The document states that Cambridge is home to many European protected species, as well as sites of special scientific interest, and therefore legislation must protect them.
Implementing Biodiversity Net Gain, Cambridge
If you are unsure of how mandatory biodiversity net gain may affect your planning application, you should contact Cambridge or South Cambridgeshire local planning authorities. If they indicate that your development could be significantly impacted, we recommend that you contact an experienced ecologist as soon as possible to 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 completing biodiversity net gain, Cambridge and will provide guidance throughout the planning process. We can ensure that one of our experienced biodiversity ecologists visits 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, 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 3.0. Landscape planting plans and management plans are used to inform post development measures.
Please get in touch if you would like further information about Biodiversity Net Gain. We are happy to offer free CPD sessions on the Biodiversity Net Gain Principles and how we can help your schemes achieve this.
If you would like to find out more about the services we provide, feel free to contact us using the details below.