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Biodiversity Net Gain

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is an approach to development and/or land management, that aims to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state than it was beforehand.

A condition is now appearing in planning consents to force delivery of a 10% uplift in biodiversity following the development of a site.

View our BNG Services Guide

View The Guide

What legislation is driving this?

The National Planning Policy Framework states that;

  • Planning policy should provide net gains in biodiversity
  • Plans should enhance habitats and prioritise biodiversity improvements local to the development
  • Development whose primary objective is to enhance biodiversity should be supported.

BNG is driven by the Environment Act which received royal assent in November 2021, and from November 2023, it is mandatory that most planning applications demonstrate how the scheme will provide a 10% uplift in biodiversity.

How is Biodiversity Net Gain calculated?

The current Defra metric is used to calculate the number of biodiversity credits based on the types of onsite habitat. There are three separate areas of focus; Habitat, Hedges and Rivers. These are not interchangeable, a net gain on habitat, but a net loss on hedges would mean rejection by the local planning authority.

In order to understand what a 10% uplift is based on, a baseline assessment needs to be undertaken. This would involve classifying the habitat type by area and then undertaking a conditional assessment of each sub block of habitat within the development boundary.

This will culminate into a Biodiversity Net Gain unit total for the site.

Where can credits come from?

The management of an existing habitat must be improved, or new habitat created in order to generate credits to fulfil the BNG requirement for a development.

Credits can either be delivered on the development site, Offsite within the local area, or via purchasing National Credits. It is intended that the purchase of National Credits will be the most expensive and therefore the least preferred option by developers.

How long is a Biodiversity Net Gain Commitment?

Biodiversity Net Gain commitments are to be secured for 30 years through either a planning condition or via a Conservation Covenant.

How can we help?

At Brown&Co we have a team of experts working throughout England including Agri-Environmental Consultants, Land Agents, Natural Capital Consultants, Planning Consultants and Development Surveyors who are able to provide a complete and joined up BNG solution both to developers and offset providers. 

We manage an inhouse register of requirements and offset available.  

Our services include:

  • Advice on BNG solutions 
  • Advice on Nutrient Neutrality (NN) solutions 
  • Baseline Assessments for BNG
  • Habitat Specification
  • Habitat Creation
  • Sale and purchase BNG units and land
  • Options for the sale or lease land for BNG
  • Register of BNG development requirements and provision of offset.

Why is Biodiversity Net Gain so important for Landowners & Developers?

Listen to Land Agent, Tim Atkinson discuss the positives of Bio Diversity Net Gain, outlining its significance for both landowners and developers and how they can work together to maximise this opportunity going forwards.

To register your BNG or NN requirement please email tim.atkinson@brown-co.com 

To discuss please contact one of our BNG team or the relevant office.

Agricultural Environmental Consultant, Divisional Partner

Norwich

Land Agent, Divisional Partner

Lincoln

Head of Architecture & Planning, Partner

Norwich

Partner, Agricultural Business Consultancy

St Neots

Town Planner, Divisional Partner

Norwich

Partner, Land Agency

Norwich

Partner, Land Agency

King's Lynn
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