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Biodiversity net gain – what the new Environment Bill means for developers

27th March 2019

While we await the government’s response to consultation results, it’s a useful period in which to review current site plans, to ensure future compliance and secure a valuable approach to sustainability.

Acting early on the pending arrival of the new mandate for biodiversity net gain will put developers at a distinct advantage – helping to improve the likelihood of both achieving planning consent and increasing property values.

And more good news; securing net gain is unlikely to place significant additional burden on developers. We would recommend adopting the early integration of biodiversity into proposals, and employing the mitigation hierarchy (avoid/mitigate/compensate), ensuring you have robust supporting evidence.

This new mandate should also establish a more level playing field for developers, by ensuring a consistent planning approach throughout local authority areas. Biodiversity net gain is already embedded in policy across several, including Essex, Dorset and North Devon.

Encouragingly too, recent industry research shows maintaining a commitment to biodiversity to have become a clear part of the business and design strategies for the UK’s major operators in the built environment. Mandatory net gain is certainly not a panacea for the continuing loss of biodiversity, but it may prove a useful addition to the development process.

Please feel free to get in touch for informed advice and guidance on how to enrich your development plans with sustainability gains.

 

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