The Government's plans for implementation of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) in the planning system in England have taken two steps forward with enactment of BNG framework powers in the Environment Act 2021 and a new consultation on implementation plans.
Under the BNG framework, developers will be required to assess potential development sites against a standardised biodiversity metric to quantify how BNG will be achieved in respect of their sites. BNG net gain must then be delivered through either on-site mitigation, compensatory off-site habitat creation or, if necessary, buying statutory biodiversity credits.
In this briefing, we set out key elements of the BNG framework and the consultation proposals, and look at likely impacts for developers. We focus on the regime as it will apply to commercial development under the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 although we also make some comments about its application to major infrastructure projects.