“Most of our clients will be aware that Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is on the agenda but have not yet started to think about if and how it may impact them”, says Mark Sanders of Acorn Rural Property Consultants.
“Where it applies, BNG will be implemented through the planning process. There will be a requirement for all development that triggers BNG to measure the existing biodiversity of the development site, identify and quantify the impact of the proposed development, and put in place a biodiversity action plan that provides for a minimum net gain of 10%. It is proposed that the approval of the plan will be a precondition to the grant of planning consent”, explains Sanders.
“Although BNG will be delivered through the planning system, the Government department responsible for introducing the BNG Regulations is Defra. Defra is currently consulting on various aspects of the proposed Regulations and the timetable is for them to be in place by November 2023. One of the aims is to create a new market in which a farmer or landowner can provide units of BNG to a developer where it is not possible for the developer to provide sufficient BNG on or adjacent to the development site. Part of the consultation is about how that new market will work. The intention is that landowners who have or who are considering environmental schemes will be able to access the new market and receive a payment for providing BNG on top of other payments they may be receiving under environmental stewardship schemes”, continues Sanders.
“BNG will create challenges for developers and opportunities for those who are able to provide BNG units to allow a development to proceed. That may well suit some of our clients who are farmers looking to sell or develop their own sites. We are responding to the Defra consultation and will be keeping a close eye on the emerging BNG Regulations”, concludes Sanders.
For further information please contact Acorn Rural Property Consultants on 01884 212380