Biodiversity offsetting has been introduced to make the compensation for impacts on biodiversity as a result of development, transparent and measurable, ensuring no net loss of habitats across the UK.
It is a process by which the potential impacts of a development are measured and the potential gains delivered through a scheme are weighed against the proposed Impacts. This process involves the use of a metric published by DEFRA in the Technical Paper: the metric for the biodiversity offsetting pilot in England (March 2012).
Offsets are only to be considered after appropriate mitigation measures have been planned to reduce the residual impacts of a development. Biodiversity offsetting provides the final stage in the mitigation hierarchy following from avoid, minimise, mitigate and finally offset.
A number of local authorities are involved in pilot offsetting schemes and FPCR have in some cases worked closely with the them and our clients throughout the development of the offsetting system currently used. FPCR have taken an active role in the development of this technique through our attendance at a number of national conferences and focus groups. As a result, our ecologists are experienced in all stages of the biodiversity offsetting process.
Our services include:
- Calculation of the biodiversity units impacted by the development.
- Calculation of the offset credits required by the developer.
- Production of the offset specification to enable an offset sites to be identified.
- Production of Biodiversity Offset Management Plans.
- Provision of appropriate planning condition discharge reports.
- Conducting of monitoring for the period of the offset delivery contract