Buildings must help a 15-minute to green space target

From 12 February all major housing developments are required to deliver at least a 10 per cent benefit for nature with England becoming the first country to make such a gain a legal requirement.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ Biodiversity Net Gain regulation, introduced through the Environment Act, should help deliver on the Government’s commitment to halt species decline by 2030. It means developers in England are now legally required to deliver at least a 10 per cent increase in biodiversity when major building projects are undertaken.

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said: “Biodiversity Net Gain will help us deliver the beautiful homes the country needs, support wildlife and create great places for people to live. This vital tool builds on our work to reverse the decline in nature and for everyone to live within a 15-minute walk of a green space or water and will transform how development and nature can work together to benefit communities.”

Biodiversity Net Gain requires development to avoid harm to nature, but where that is unavoidable, developers must create new habitats or enhance existing ones either within the site itself or by investing in nature sites elsewhere. Where this is not possible, developers can purchase off-site biodiversity units from landowners via a private market.

Biodiversity Net Gain is measured in biodiversity units calculated through the statutory metric tool. This calculates how many units a habitat contains before development, to then calculate how many biodiversity units are needed to provide at least 10 per cent gain. The statutory biodiversity metric considers the size, quality, location, and type of habitat.

Share Story:

Recent Stories