Did you know that Biodiversity Net Gain will begin to affect planning applications in England from February this year as it becomes mandatory for some developers.
This will begin to affect smaller developments in February 2024, before being rolled out to larger developments in the future, as shown below.
12th Feb 2024:
- Residential developments of 10 or more dwellings or where the site is greater than 0.5ha.
- Non Residential developments where the floor space is greater than 1000 sqm or site is greater than 1ha.
- Waste and Mineral developments
2nd April 2024:
- Residential developments of 1-9 dwellings on a site less than 1ha or the site is less than 1ha or the site is less than 0.5ha when number of dwellings is unknown
- Non Residential developments where the floor space is less than 1000 sqm or site is less than 1ha.
- Developments of national significant infrastructure.
The 4 Key areas of BNG:
1: Developers will need to compensate for biodiversity impacts and enhance biodiversity on development sites. This means developers must deliver a minimum of a 10% habitat uplift.
- The loses and gains of biodiversity will be measured by a Biodiversity Metric that measures the biodiversity value of habitats by calculating the number of ‘biodiversity units’:
- how many units a habitat contains before development takes place
- how many units are needed to replace the units of habitats lost and to achieve the minimum 10% BNG, through the creation or enhancement of habitats.
- Developers can achieve BNG:
- Onsite: Avoid impacts or enhance the biodiversity onsite
- Off site: Enhance other parts of the land or purchase biodiversity units from third parties
- Statutory Credits: Credits sold by the Government to reinvest in enhancement of habitats.
- Land managers and developers will need to register and allocate biodiversity gains via a public register.
Further guidance can be found: