Impacts from the Environment Act 2021 are now starting to bite, and none more so than the introduction of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG).
Put simply BNG is development which leaves biodiversity in a better state than before, and from November 2023 planning consent through the Town and Country Planning Act will require projects to deliver at least 10% biodiversity net gain. Smaller sites have a bit longer, with the requirement starting in April 2024, and nationally significant projects starting from November 2025.
BNG requires joined up thinking to implement, so it cannot necessarily be undertaken in isolation. Often it involves input from developers, local authorities, landowners, local nature partnerships and other stakeholders to achieve net gain and increase the quantity of natural capital.
BNG is ambitious and certainly has its challenges, not least how it is interpreted and applied in practice. There is also the shortage of resources available to local planning authorities to deliver net gain. With a hierarchy of mitigation employed with any project, planners will therefore need to determine how positive a net gain is achievable for each project at or above the 10% statutory minimum.
In order to ensure you are kept aware of changes to legislation and can plan for maintaining future compliance, give EHS Management a call on 07764302858.