Biodiversity Net Gain is a way of ensuring development has a measurable positive impact on biodiversity by comparing the biodiversity value of the site pre-development with the biodiversity value of the site post development.
The Environment Act November 2021 mandates the provision of 10% Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) on the majority of development sites for 30 years. This will come into force on 12 February 2024 and will apply to outline, full and temporary applications. From this date major development (unless otherwise exempt) will have to deliver net gains for biodiversity leading to positive outcomes for nature, better places for local communities and more consistent and transparent requirements for developers. Further information is available on the Defra website. The exempt developments are set out in the regulations. Planning permission can now only be granted where a 10% gain is made as this is a mandatory requirement.
BNG for small sites will have an extended transition period and will apply from 2 April 2024. The definition of small sites is summarised below. Small site development includes:
- Residential development where the number of dwellings is between 1 and 9, or if unknown the site area is less than 0.5 hectares
- Commercial development where floor space created is less than 1,000 square metres or the total site area is less than 1 hectare
The small sites metric and user guide can be found here.
Links to specific guidance are listed below.
Commencement Regulations – The Environment Act 2021 (Commencement No. 8 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2024 No. 44 (C.4)
- The Biodiversity Gain (Town and Country Planning) (Modifications and Amendments) (England) Regulations 2024 No. 50
Defra Guidance and National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG)
- National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG): Biodiversity Net Gain
- Understanding biodiversity net gain
- Biodiversity net gain: Information you need for biodiversity net gain (BNG).
Local Authority Guidance
Statutory Biodiversity metric
- Calculate biodiversity using the biodiversity metric
- Statutory biodiversity metric tools and guides
- Guidance on Irreplaceable Habitats
Onsite, Off-site provision and Biodiversity Gain Plan
- Make on-site biodiversity gains as a developer
- Make off-site biodiversity gains as a developer
- Authorise an agent to act your behalf form
- Record allocation of off-site biodiversity gains to a development
- Record allocation of off-site biodiversity gains form
- Register a biodiversity gain site
- Register a biodiversity site and allocate to a development
- Biodiversity gain plan
- Submit a biodiversity gain plan
Biodiversity Gains Sites Register
- Biodiversity gain sites register: terms and conditions
- Using the biodiversity gain sites register: terms and conditions
- Search the biodiversity gain sites register
Statutory Biodiversity Credits
- Statutory biodiversity credits
- Statutory biodiversity credit prices
- Estimate the cost of statutory biodiversity credits
- Statutory biodiversity credits: terms and conditions
Land Manager Guidance
- Land manager guidance
- Meet your BNG requirements: steps to take for land managers
- Sell biodiversity units as a land manager
- Combining Environmental Payments: Bbiodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and nutrient mitigation
Habitat Management and Monitoring Plan / Legal Agreements
- Creating a habitat management and monitoring plan for biodiversity net gain
- Legal agreements to secure your biodiversity net gain
- Submit a biodiversity gain plan
For specific information relating to Kent please visit the Kent Nature Partnership website , including the approach to be taken when assessing the strategic significance of a habitat. Kent County Council has produced interim guidance (January 2024) which should be used when completing the statutory metric. This guidance will be replaced by the Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) which is due for completion 2025. KCC has also produced a BNG site register which identifies potential, off site delivery sites. Both can be found on the Making Space for Nature website.