Biodiversity net gain and its impact on viability

Toby Lambert - B&W low res

The proposals in the Environment Bill sound fine in principle but we need to take the time to work out if some developments could be disproportionately affected, says Toby Lambert

Biodiversity net gain aims to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state than before any development. Nobody would disagree - we all know the social, economic and health benefits of living in a greener, more sustainable way that protects our planet. The National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF) already requires a net gain but any required increase in biodiversity ‘value’ is not currently quantified.

New legislation in the form of the Environment Bill will require a minimum 10% increase in value as part of any development. Developers will be encouraged to bring forward schemes that provide an overall enhancement of the natural habitat and ecological features, as informed by the local development plan and ideally via pre-application discussions with the relevant local planning authority.

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