Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG)

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG)

The concept of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) aims to halt biodiversity loss and restore ecological habitat value and networks.

The Environment Bill received Royal Assent on 9 November 2021. By amending the Town & Country Planning Act the Environment Bill requires all planning applications to show a post-development biodiversity net gain. By enshrining environmental principles into law, the Environment Act includes a requirement to meet a mandatory measurable (10%) increase in ecological value over baseline values on a completed development site.

An ecological value of a site is calculated both pre-development and post-development via ecological surveys and design proposals. Scores for both pre-and post-development are calculated via a formula in a recognised metric, such as that devised by DEFRA.

A mandatory 10% increase in post-development ecological value can be met, by designing the increase into post-development habitats, be it on-site or off, or a mixture of both. Alternatively, payments may be made to local authorities to offset any losses when it is not feasible for development to meet the 10% target for increase.

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