Biodiversity Net Gain

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is a new concept which in time is likely to become law. It takes a baseline of the habitats and linear features on a site, assesses against the loss a development will create and a 10% gain will be required.

Most planning authorities are now recognising that mitigating and enhancing biodiversity within a development is vital. This includes Ecological Mitigation and Enhancement Plans, and more recently, Biodiversity Net Gain assessments.

Biodiversity Net Gain is a new government policy in which developers must aim to enhance the state of the natural environment by increasing the natural habitats and ecological features across a site. It will soon be a legal obligation to achieve a minimum of 10% biodiversity net gain prior to a planning application being approved as part of the new Environment Bill.

The type, condition, and area of habitats on site are determined prior to the development. Then, each habitat included in the proposed development is calculated, with each habitat assessed on its condition and size too.

This habitat data, along with information on local biodiversity action plans, are input into the Biodiversity Metric (versions are currently being updated regularly), which results in the calculation of Biodiversity Units. The different between the baseline and proposed development biodiversity units provide a percentage – this is the Biodiversity Net Gain.

With a minimum of 10% biodiversity net gain needed for a development to be approved, we then recommend the best ways in which to achieve this.

For example, on a recent project, the biodiversity net gain was calculated for the proposed development where a +8.96% net gain was achieved. Therefore, to meet the minimum 10% net gain, a further +1.04% was needed.

We recommended using a species-rich grass seed mix, such as WFT-Species-Rich-26, for the proposed amenity grassland. We calculated that enhancing 0.8 Ha of the proposed amenity grassland would meet the minimum 10% net gain. Another option was to include patches of mixed scrub, totalling at least 0.1 Ha, which would also meet the 10% net gain requirement.

A Biodiversity Net Gain calculation and subsequent report can be carried out any time of the year.

It’s simple to start your Biodiversity Net Gain Assessment…

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Biodiversity Net Gain Assessments from only £899*

* Costs are plus VAT and based on location and biological records data costs from third parties which varies from county to county – a fixed fee including biological records will be provided in your quote. Staff are fully licenced to undertake this survey type with the statutory body in England (Natural England).