Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and Planning

In a letter dated 6th October 2023, the Chief Planning Officer set out the updated timetable for the introduction of requirements for major development schemes to deliver a 10% net gain in biodiversity across England. This is currently proposed to come into effect in January 2024. Whilst seeking to deliver enhancements to biodiversity is of value, there is the potential that this requirement could significantly impact a site’s development potential as greater proportions of land will likely need to be utilised in order to meet the 10% target, as calculated by the standardised Biodiversity Metric.

The Chief Planning Officer’s letter confirms that the need to demonstrate a BNG of 10% will only apply to major applications submitted after the implementation date. The specific date is yet to be confirmed but based on the information available it can be assumed that applications submitted and validated by the end of this year will not be required to deliver the 10% increase. Some Local Planning Authorities however, do already have requirements for net gains in biodiversity that will need to be acknowledged in submissions.

Please do get in touch should you have any queries on this. Both our Planning and Ecology team would be happy to assist.

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