The aim of Biodiversity Net Gain is for development to leave biodiversity in a better state than before it commenced. This ethos has been adopted in the National Planning Policy Framework 2019 and will become mandatory in the Environment Bill, after it is enacted and secondary legislation is in place, perhaps around 2023. A 10% net gain in biodiversity is required, measured using Biodiversity Metrics. These metrics quantify the existing and proposed habitats as biodiversity units. The existing and proposed habitats are compared and the net change is produced.
Habitats that can be included within developments to improve biodiversity could include wildflower meadows, scrub planting, berry and nectar-producing plants, native hedgerows, ponds, wetlands, woodland planting and orchard habitats. It can be difficult to provide an increase in biodiversity within development sites and there are sometimes options to provide habitats off-site, either directly or via an offsetting scheme.
The Landscape Partnership is experienced at measuring Biodiversity Net Gain, and we can advise on the best ways to maximise biodiversity without serious compromise to a good quality landscape scheme. Our team of ecologists and landscape architects work together to provide an integrated scheme to meet ecology, amenity and landscape needs.