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Biodiversity Net
Gain (BNG)

Mandated in England through the Environment Act 2021, Biodiversity Net Gain is designed to ensure that habitats for wildlife are left in a ‘measurably better state’ than they were in before development took place.

In short, it is a strategy to enable the recovery of nature through the development and planning process. It is particularly relevant to:

  • Developers
  • Rural landowners
  • Local Planning Authorities

The key mandatory BNG stipulations enshrined in the Environment Act, include:

  • To be applied from January 2024 in England
    - A number of local planning authorities require a gain in biodiversity to be delivered in advance of the mandatory introduction
  • BNG will apply to most developments which result in the loss of habitat, but a ‘de minimis’ threshold applies and some types of planning are exempt
  • A minimum 10% gain - calculated using the Biodiversity Metric will be required
  • Habitat provision must be secured for at least 30 years via planning obligations, or conservation covenants

    Where net gain cannot be achieved on site, then biodiversity offsetting must be sought first through local offsetting arrangements or, where this cannot be achieved, via the purchase of statutory Biodiversity Credits from the government. Biodiversity offsetting will need to be registered through the BNG site register.

Our team of BNG specialists has the experience and the expertise to help developers:

  • Understand BNG requirements
  • Make informed decisions on any offset options for acquiring the necessary habitat units
  • Identify and secure habitat units if offset requirements are known
    • Either via - a portal, launched by Fisher German
    • Or via bespoke searches to meet a specific brief
    • Acquire ‘biodiversity offsets’ on land outside the developed area - ideally within the local area to account for any loss and deliver the net gain required
    • Acquire credits from government if necessary

Implementation will be phased as summarised below:

  • Large sites from 12 February 2024
  • Small sites from 2 April 2024
  • Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) planned for 2025

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