Biodiversity Net Gain – Why listen to us?
If the Environment Bill survives a new government, and it looks like it will, it aims to nationally mandate a 10% biodiversity net gain on development sites. Meaning the delivery of much-needed infrastructure and housing is not at the expense of vital biodiversity.
Used correctly, assessments can highlight areas / sites which should be avoided and those which have the potential to be developed with minimal impact. Taking these factors into account at an early stage can deliver environmentally beneficial schemes, inform land value assessments, increase the certainty of financial obligations and help reduce conflict with LPA’s and consultees.
In recognition our experience in Net Gain assessments one of the FPCR team now holds a position on the Natural England Metric Sounding Board and is working closely with Natural England to develop the tool for applying the principles of the metric. In recognition of this work you will see our logo on the front page of The Biodiversity Metric 2.
What is Biodiversity Net Gain
Biodiversity net gain is an approach used to enrich the natural environment to a state measurably better than that found prior to development. The concept aims to halt biodiversity loss and restore ecological networks. The system uses a metric to measure the impacts from development and then calculates the required habitat enhancement or creation to deliver sufficient gain. The proposed Environment Bill aims to make biodiversity net gain mandatory in England, this is still some way off given the current political uncertainty. As it stands, developers will need to achieve a 10% gain in biodiversity, there will however be a two-year transition period following the Bill receiving Royal ascent.
We provide guidance to developers in both private and public sectors in meeting their objectives and targets. Since its first pilot in 2012, we have been heavily involved with development of biodiversity net gain and now has a position on the Natural England Metric Sounding Board. More recently, we have contributed to DEFRA’s latest 2.0 metric that provides fundamental methods to measure and account for biodiversity loss and gain.
Since the first pilot of biodiversity offsetting in 2012, FPCR has been involved in over 100 schemes and worked to devise a range of complex strategies. We are also currently working with a number of clients to deliver cost effective compensation in the form of biodiversity unit banks. Being so engaged with the emerging system provides FPCR with a unique in-depth understanding of the process. Consequently, we are able to assist our clients to smoothly transition to the new metric approach, delivering cost effective biodiverse schemes.