Planning Permission Durham: New BNG Rules

When embarking on a new development project, specific procedures must be followed in order to facilitate the project’s progression. Obtaining planning permission can be a complex but necessary process for those wishing to start a new development project.

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

Planning Permission, Durham: The process

Before submitting a formal application, it is advisable to seek pre-application advice from the local planning authorities. This can help clarify requirements and identify any potential issues or discharge of conditions that may be applicable further down the line.

Once you are ready to proceed, submit a planning application to the local planning authority. Applications can be submitted online through the Planning Portal or directly to the local authority.

The local planning authority will validate the application, checking if all necessary documents and information are provided. Incomplete applications may be returned.

Some applications may require a public consultation period, where neighbours and other stakeholders can express their views on the proposed development. Anyone can comment on current applications or check the progress of an application on the Durham planning website.

The local planning authority will make a decision based on planning policies, relevant considerations, and public input. The decision can be approval, approval with conditions, or refusal.

More information can be found on planning permission, Durham, can be found on the Durham County Council planning website.

Biodiversity Net Gain for planning permission, Durham

Biodiversity net gain is now a mandatory requirement for obtaining planning permission, Durham. When submitting a planning application, including a BNG assessment as part of the proposal will now be required.

 From 12 February 2024, BNG will be mandatory for new planning applications for major developments. Major developments include residential developments with 10 or more dwellings or if the site area is greater than 0.5 hectares.

Biodiversity net gain will be made mandatory for small sites from 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 Collington Winter Assist with Planning Permission in Durham?

Collington Winter Environmental believe in a pragmatic approach to development. We meet the needs of developers whilst ensuring positive outcomes for wildlife. We believe that an early consultation and in-depth knowledge of ecological best practice is the best way to improve your chances at obtaining planning permission, Durham, and ensuring your project complies with Durham Council requirements.

If you are interested in our services, contact us using the form below. You can also contact our Ecology Director, Olivia Collington, via email at

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