Biodiversity Net Gain Regulations to Come Into Force in November
May 23, 2023
The UK Government has made it compulsory for property developers to set out how their proposed development will deliver at least 10% biodiversity net gain (with a few exemptions) from November 2023. This government initiative will help ensure developments produce thriving places for plants and wildlife alongside meeting community needs. This ‘nature positive’ requirement will involve close assessment of habitats and their condition, to identify how they may be affected by development. Applicants will need to provide both their calculations and a ‘biodiversity gain plan’ as part of their assessment.
The regulations will apply if you’re a land manager, developer, or local planning authority (LPA). Almost all new development will be expected to adhere to these regulations, however smaller types of developments such as householder extensions will be exempt.
The legislation is part of the government’s strategy to halt species decline by 2030 and has been introduced by the Environment Act.
The government has outlined that calculation tools and a user guide for the biodiversity metric are available on Natural England’s Access to Evidence Website. This will allow developers to calculate how a development or change in land management could alter the biodiversity value of a site. For example, due to house building or woodland planting.
Information needed to utilise this calculation tool includes:
- The types of habitat - on-site and off-site
- The size of each habitat parcel in hectares - or kilometres if it is linear (rivers and streams, hedgerows, and lines of trees)
- The condition of each habitat parcel
- Whether the sites are in locations identified as local nature priorities
In addition, The Planning Portal have partnered with Joe’s Blooms’ web tools to provide information on biodiversity net gain and outline requirements which may apply to sites. It can also identify possible options for compliance and assess their effectiveness. Joe’s Blooms will also be providing regular training opportunities to assist people in navigating biodiversity net gain within planning.