Government reveals timetable for Biodiversity Net Gain policy
The government has confirmed that legislation to enforce Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) rules will be introduced in November
This will make Biodiversity Net Gain a legal requirement marking a significant step toward making new housing, commercial, and infrastructure projects more environmentally friendly.
From January 2024, developers in England must achieve a 10% net gain in biodiversity when constructing new housing, industrial, or commercial developments.
They will be required, by law, to make a positive contribution to the local environment, such as creating new habitats and green spaces.Smaller businesses have been awarded a grace period
These regulations will be enforced by April 2024 for smaller developers, while Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects are expected to comply by 2025.
BNG is integral to the country’s ambition to reach its goal of halting the decline in species abundance by 2030. The government has already allocated over £15m to support Local Planning Authorities in their preparations for the new policy.
Many housing developers are already successfully integrating the policy principles into their projects.
By the end of November, comprehensive guidance and regulations will be published, including:
- A statutory biodiversity metric, crucial for calculating the correct biodiversity gain.
- A draft biodiversity gain plan template to help developers prepare for the planning application stages.
- A Habitat Management and Monitoring Plan template, outlining the long-term management of improved on-site and off-site habitats.
- A set of guidelines offering further advice for landowners, developers, and Local Planning Authorities regarding their roles and responsibilities in achieving mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain.
This guidance will help developers and planners understand the tools and information needed to implement the policy come January 2024. It is hoped that this will ensure that the construction of much-needed homes aligns with nature preservation and benefits local environments.
“Biodiversity Net Gain will ensure new developments work for both wildlife and people. We will create nature-rich places whilst ensuring communities get the new homes and infrastructure they need,” commented biodiversity minister, Trudy Harrison.
“The updated timetable and guidance we are setting out today will help smooth the transition ahead of the policy going fully live in January 2024,” she added.
Developers and planning authorities are encouraged to make the most of this extra time to become well-acquainted with the guidance and get ready for the introduction of Biodiversity Net Gain.
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