A Landmark Move for Biodiversity Net Gain
In an unprecedented global first, England has introduced a legal requirement for developers to ensure a 10% Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) in new housing, industrial, and commercial projects. This groundbreaking regulation, part of the Environment Act, marks a significant step towards the government’s goal to halt species decline by 2030.
Revolutionizing Development with Nature in Mind
From today, developers across England will be mandated to integrate at least a 10% increase in biodiversity in their major building endeavors. This initiative not only aligns with the nation’s environmental objectives but also benefits communities by enhancing natural habitats.
Supporting Local Authorities
To facilitate the integration of BNG at the local level, the government is committing £10.6 million to help local planning authorities expand their ecological teams. This investment aims to create green jobs and increase the capacity to develop wildlife-rich habitats alongside new developments.
A Unified Approach to Environmental Stewardship
Government and Industry Collaboration
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow emphasizes the dual benefits of BNG: delivering beautiful homes and supporting wildlife. This initiative is part of a broader effort, including restoring natural areas and setting ambitious biodiversity targets.
Natural England Chair, Tony Juniper, highlights the necessity of compensating for habitat loss due to development. He points out that BNG is essential for achieving the nation’s wildlife conservation goals.
The Industry’s Positive Reception
Developers like Berkeley Group have already seen the benefits of implementing BNG in their projects. CEO Rob Perrins advocates for a collaborative approach to maximize the benefits of BNG for people, the planet, and prosperity.
How Biodiversity Net Gain Works
BNG applies to new planning applications, emphasizing the creation or enhancement of habitats on development sites as a priority. If on-site development is not feasible, developers can invest in off-site biodiversity units or purchase statutory biodiversity credits as a last resort.
Ensuring Long-term Environmental Benefits
BNG is not just about immediate gains; it’s about securing lasting environmental improvements. All significant gains, whether on-site or off-site, require a legal agreement to ensure habitat improvements are monitored and managed over a 30-year period.
England Leads the Way in Environmental Protection
England’s mandatory BNG requirement positions it as a world leader in environmental conservation. The UK’s commitment to legally binding nature conservation targets underscores its dedication to protecting and restoring the natural world. This move is expected to serve as a model for other nations to follow in the pursuit of sustainable development and environmental preservation.