Biodiversity net gain
Biodiversity net gain (BNG) is an approach to development or land management, which aims to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state than it was beforehand.
BNG can be delivered in two ways: through the day-to-day activities of local authorities and, primarily, through new development and the determination of planning applications.
Biodiversity net gain and Planning
From February 2024 all major development, with a few exceptions, will be required to deliver biodiversity net gain with the Environment Act setting a minimum gain of 10% using Natural England’s biodiversity metric. A Small Sites Metric will be launched for minor developments in April 2024.
Habitat will be secured for a minimum of 30 years and delivered either on-site, off-site or using a new statutory national biodiversity credits scheme.
We have prepared a Planning Guidance document to help applicants understand our approach to delivering biodiversity net gain and what information should be submitted with a planning application.
In addition, we have produced a Guidance Note for Householders which sets out some small steps everyone can take to improve biodiversity in our homes and gardens.
Biodiversity Duty Report
The Environment Act now places a duty on the Council to set out, and report, on how it will deliver biodiversity net gain. The report sets out the Council’s priorities, current projects and, in later updates, how it has met its targets.
Biodiversity Net Gain Report
The Biodiversity Net Gain Report will be produced annually, and it will provide an overview of habitat losses and gains and qualitative improvements. The report will be produced shortly after the first anniversary of biodiversity net gain becoming mandatory in February 2024.