Biodiversity Net Gain - A Tool Kit

For many of us Biodiversity Net Gain remains a mystery yet it will be on us in November 2023.

Biodiversity net gain (BNG) is a way to contribute to the recovery of nature while developing land. It is making sure the habitat for wildlife is in a better state than it was before development.

This will apply from November 2023 for developments in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, unless exempt. It will apply to small sites from April 2024.

BNG will apply to you if you’re a:

  • land manager
  • developer
  • local planning authority (LPA)

If you’re a land manager

You can get paid by selling biodiversity units.

You must be a land manager with:

  • land in England
  • consent to register land if you’re not the landowner
  • a legal agreement for the land you’re registering

If you’re a developer

You must try to avoid loss of habitat to a piece of land you plan to do development work on. If you cannot do this, you must create habitat either on-site or off-site.

On-site means on the land your development work is on. Off-site is either your own land away from the development site, or you have bought units from a land manager.

If you cannot use on-site or off-site land, you must buy statutory credits from the government. You must provide evidence for using this option. This must be a last resort. The government will invest in habitat creation elsewhere in England.

You may be able to combine all 3 options to make up your BNG. You must discuss this with an ecologist, as you will need to prove why you cannot use one option. You must get approval from your local planning authority before you start building.

If you’re a local planning authority

LPAs will have to approve a biodiversity net gain plan for development work before it can start.

Many local authorities are well on with how they will deal with this despite the lack of information from central government which is still promised before November. A number are though, still way behind. We attach some guidance we have found to date and will keep adding this as more becomes available.

Parks for London have done some great work to date. Guidance attached here. bng-lnrs-event-toolkit-1

Also more on their website

The LGA have also published lots of information on their website too.

The CIEEM have also published a lot of guidance we would suggest you refer too.

East Suffolk Council have published guidance available here

Natural England of course have guidance