What is Biodiversity Net Gain?
The idea behind Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is that development should leave biodiversity in a measurably better state than it was before any development took place.
BNG is defined as leaving more, bigger or better habitats for biodiversity and is demonstrated by using the DEFRA biodiversity metric.
Paragraph 174 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF, 2021) requires biodiversity net gains to be achieved.
The Government has made it a mandatory requirement for certain development to achieve a minimum of 10% BNG through the Environment Act 2021.
It's currently anticipated that mandatory BNG will be required from spring 2024. This is to bring the requirement in line with national implementation. Secondary legislation and guidance will be published to support implementation.
Purpose of this interim Technical Advice Note
The purpose of this Technical Advice Note (TAN) is to provide interim guidance for planning applicants and decision-makers on how BNG will be achieved in Brighton & Hove in accordance with the policy requirements of City Plan Parts 1 and 2, prior to BNG becoming a mandatory requirement.
This TAN explains:
- the type of development required to provide BNG
- the amount of BNG required
- how BNG should be measured
- the information required to be submitted with your planning application
- information on the types, locations and extent of habitats that can provide BNG
- how BNG will be secured
- how BNG will be monitored
This TAN only provides guidance on BNG.
Biodiversity and Nature Conservation SPD11
The council has produced an updated Biodiversity and Nature Conservation SPD11 to assist planning applicants to better understand the importance of biodiversity more generally and ensure they meet legislative and policy requirements.
The SPD provides a step-by-step guide for ensuring biodiversity is properly considered throughout the planning process.
The SPD should therefore be referred to for all other matters concerning biodiversity, including the overarching principles that apply to development, such as the mitigation hierarchy which must be addressed prior to the provision of any BNG.
Local policy requirements
The key local planning policies which require BNG are:
- City Plan Part 1 Policy CP10 Biodiversity
- City Plan Part 2 Policy DM37 Green Infrastructure and Nature Conservation
Both policies seek BNG from development, with DM37 requiring BNG to be measurable.
Section 4.2 of SPD11 provides more details on the local policy requirements relating to BNG and biodiversity.