At EcoNorth, we provide a Biodiversity Net Gain service which is tailored to your project. Biodiversity Net Gain is set to became a mandatory part of the planning system in England as part of the Environment Bill 2020. However, Biodiversity Net Gain has already been adopted by some local planning authorities requiring developers to deliver a net gain in biodiversity as a prerequisite to achieving planning permission. Fortunately, we have been providing this service over the past few years including during its early stages of implementation.
What is Biodiversity Net Gain?
The purpose of Biodiversity Net Gain is for any development or land management scheme to provide an improvement to the biodiversity of the site. Importantly, Biodiversity Net Gain can be quantified using a metric which considers habitat distinctiveness condition and area to calculate ‘biodiversity units’. This method allows any Biodiversity Net Gain to be measurably demonstrated.
Why is biodiversity important?
Biodiversity is needed to ensure that ecosystems work effectively. Ecosystems provide free services which go unnoticed day to day, such as food production, soil formation, climate control, flood regulation and carbon storage, as well as providing social, cultural and a wide range of health benefits.
What EcoNorth provides
Typically, EcoNorth staff attend site to carry out a baseline survey to collect detailed habitat data to inform a predevelopment biodiversity calculation. We can also carry out a protected species survey at the same time, where required, to help minimise costs.
The survey data and the proposed development plan will then be used to calculate the biodiversity net change determined for the site.
These results are used as a tool to inform how to achieve Biodiversity Net Gain within the development project. There are a wide range of options we can deliver to ensure that biodiversity on site is improved while still achieving the desired results of the development.
In circumstances where Biodiversity Net Gain cannot be achieved on site, there is a biodiversity offsetting option available, whereby delivering biodiversity off site may be achievable through liaison with key stakeholders.
The benefits of Biodiversity Net Gain
As well as the opportunity to create healthy biodiverse habitats which can function alongside your development or land management scheme, the Biodiversity Net Gain calculation also produces a value which provides confirmation to the local planning authority that a proposed development will achieve an increase in biodiversity.
To find out more or to discuss Biodiversity Net Gain options within your project, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 (0)1670 735 547.