Government Delays Mandatory Bio-Diversity Net Gain to January 2024
On 27 September 2023, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced that the government is delaying the implementation of the mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain (‘’BNG’’) until January 2024.
BNG is a strategy to contribute to the recovery of nature when land is developed, ensuring developers avoid the loss of habitats or this cannot be done, so that they create a new habitat.
It was announced in The Environment Act, 2021 (the “Act”), that from November 2023, BNG would be a condition of obtaining planning permission. The condition would require all developers to demonstrate how they will deliver a 10% improvement to the biodiversity of any site they have had planning permission approved for.
Implementing the BNG would require Local Authorities to process and determine planning applications to ensure they meet the legislative requirements, assess and approve biodiversity gain plans, secure obligations through legal agreements linked to the grant of planning permission and monitor compliance with planning conditions.
The Government have announced they are delaying putting into effect the new BNG laws to January 2024.
The Government has indicated they will publish all guidance and the implementing regulations by the end of November 2023 which is to include:
- The statutory biodiversity metric used to calculate the correct biodiversity gain;
- The draft biodiversity gain plan template. A developer must prepare a plan as part of the planning application process;
- The habitat management and monitoring plan template, which will set out how long-term management will improve significant on-site and off -site habitats; and
- A package of BNG guidance setting out further advice for landowners, developers and local planning authorities on their roles and responsibilities in delivering BNG.
It is recommended that developers and planning authorities familiarise themselves with the guidance and prepare for the integration of the BNG into the planning system.
For further information, please contact:
Solicitor, Real Estate