Biodiversity net gain comes into force

Biodiversity net gain comes into force

“On 12 February 2024, the delivery of a minimum of 10% Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) became a statutory requirement for new applications for planning permission for major development.  On 2 April 2024, this obligation will be extended to apply to new applications for minor development”, explains Henry Buckpitt of Acorn Rural Property Consultants.

“A series of exemptions mean that applications for householder development (such as residential extensions) self-build and custom build housing, development affecting less than 25 square metres of habitat and development under permitted development rights will not be caught by BNG.  Transitional measures mean that applications made to vary planning conditions attached to planning permissions granted before 12 February, or 2 April for minor development, will also be exempt from BNG.

BNG can be achieved through habitat creation or enhancements to existing habitats. Bat boxes, bird boxes and the like do not count.  Planning applications that trigger the need to deliver mandatory BNG will need to measure the baseline value of the site and then quantify the impact of the proposed development and put in place a biodiversity gain plan to deliver a minimum of 10% BNG.  Approved applications that trigger the need to deliver BNG will be subject to a pre-commencement condition that development may not be begun unless a plan has been submitted to and approved by the local planning authority. The rules provide for BNG to be delivered on-site, off-site or by purchasing statutory credits where BNG cannot be delivered on or offsite”, says Buckpitt.

“BNG should not be an afterthought to avoid designing developments that may not be able to meet the mandatory requirement.  Early consideration will be essential in terms of site selection and the initial design phase. Integrating BNG into the planning and design process from the outset will enable applicants to avoid negative impacts and identify opportunities to maximise net gain”, advises Buckpitt.

For further information please contact Henry Buckpitt at Acorn Rural Property Consultants.  Henry is always pleased to speak to old or new clients and contacts alike at any time.  All conversations are entirely confidential, and he does not charge for having a chat on the telephone.

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