Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) 

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is a way of creating and improving natural habitats.  BNG makes sure development has a measurable positive impact (‘net gain’) on biodiversity, compared to what was there before development.

From 12 February 2024 all new major development (10 or more homes or a site area of 1 hectare of more or 1,000 sqm metres of floorspace) will have to demonstrate through a planning application how the scheme will provide at least 10% biodiversity net gain.

From 2 April 2024 BNG will also apply to all minor applications (unless exempt).

In England, biodiversity net gain is required under a statutory framework introduced by Schedule 7A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (inserted by the Environment Act 2021).

Further information on BNG can be found in the Planning Practice Guidance

Submitting a Planning Application

We encourage you to engage with us before submitting your planning  application through our pre-application advice procedure in order to identify, understand and seek to resolve issues; this will help to improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning application process, reduce issues around validation, and improve the quality of the application.

Where development would be subject to BNG, the planning application must be accompanied by minimum information set out in Article 7 of The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015:

  • a statement as to whether the applicant believes that planning permission, if granted, would be subject to the biodiversity gain condition;
  • the pre-development biodiversity value of the onsite habitat on the date of application (or an earlier date) including the completed metric calculation tool used showing the calculations, the publication date and version of the biodiversity metric used to calculate that value;
  • where the applicant wishes to use an earlier date, the proposed earlier date and the reasons for proposing that date;
  • a statement confirming whether the biodiversity value of the onsite habitat is lower on the date of application (or an earlier date) because of the carrying on of activities (‘degradation’) in which case the value is to be taken as immediately before the carrying on of the activities, and if degradation has taken place supporting evidence of this;
  • a description of any irreplaceable habitat (as set out in column 1 of the Schedule to the Biodiversity Gain Requirements (Irreplaceable Habitat) Regulations [2024]) on the land to which the application relates, that exists on the date of application, (or an earlier date); and
  • a plan, drawn to an identified scale which must show the direction of North, showing onsite habitat existing on the date of application (or and earlier date), including any irreplaceable habitat.

If this information has not been provided, the Local Planning Authority will decline to validate the application as it will not meet the nationally set validation requirements for planning applications.

Within the planning application form applicants will be asked to confirm whether this information accompanies the application. Where these details have been provided elsewhere in accompanying documents, applicants are encouraged to refer to these rather than duplicate this information within the application form.

Last updated: Mon 18 March, 2024 @ 14:31