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Biodiversity Net Gain

Last Modified January 23, 2024

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is an approach to development that seeks to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state than it was before the development occurred. It aims to deliver improvements through habitat creation or enhancement after firstly avoiding and then mitigating harm.

The passing into law of the Environment Act (2021) means that local authorities will have a legal duty to require that development takes place in a way that sees biodiversity increased rather than diminished.

BNG will apply to most new major development under the Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) from late January 2024, and to smaller sites (with certain exemptions) from April 2024. At the time of writing, it is understood that reserved matters will not be required to fulfil the mandatory requirement for BNG if the outline permission was approved prior to the relevant provisions of the Environment Act coming into force.

Biodiversity Net Gain Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

The Biodiveristy Net Gain SPD sets out the approach that will be taken to BNG in Hertsmere, within the context of national legislation, the National Planning Policy Framework and local planning policy

It was adopted on 10th January 2024, with the allowance for minor amendments to be made after adoption in order to take into account potential changes in national legislation and guidance, which are currently in draft form.

The Biodiversity Duty

Guidance has recently been produced by Defra and Natural England on what the biodiversity duty is, the activities it applies to, and how public authorities can show they're complying with it.

Under the biodiversity duty, which is part of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, public authorities must show regard for conserving biodiversity in all their actions.

This goes wider that planning, and at Hertsmere we are currently considering our actions under the duty across all areas of the council.



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