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Biodiversity Net Gain for Householders

BNG has the potential to be extremely costly if not handled correctly. While there will be some financial impacts, these can be reduced if considered from the outset.

What are the steps involved?

We will initially carry out a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal of your site. This will provide you with the Baseline score for the project. It also highlights any potential constraints such as trees, important habitats and potential for protected species such as bats. This stage can, and should, be done before you begin designing your proposed development.

Once you decide to move forward with the process and have a proposed layout plan, we can assess the impacts of the development and carry out any additional surveys that may be required.

When all surveys have been completed, the findings are compiled, and mitigation is first designed for any protected species and habitats being impacted which brings us to “neutral” or “no net loss”.  Finally, we design habitat enhancement to achieve 10% BNG, this might include enhancing existing habitats or creating higher-value habitats.

Key points to note.

We recommend working with an ecologist from the outset, commissioning habitat surveys before you even begin to create designs. This will allow us to inform you of any constraints and recommend the areas of your site which have the least biodiversity value and will therefore require the least amount of work and/or financing to offset.

BNG is additional to any habitat creation or enhancement required to offset protected species impacts. For example, if the development is proven to have hazel dormouse on-site and the proposals involve removing 25m of hedgerow, a new hedge must be created to reestablish connectivity, the length of this hedge cannot be used to achieve your 10% BNG requirement.

By working with an ecologist early in the process we will be able to make you aware of these potential situations and potentially avoid them.

What can Land and Heritage do for you?

Land and Heritage can support you in all areas of the BNG process.

While this post is aimed at BNG, it would be remiss of us not to mention the other new legislation elements which were introduced in 2023. Green Infrastructure is now mandatory for all developments, for minor developments, the requirements vary depending on the Local Planning Authority. At Land and Heritage, we can cover this part of the process or work with your chosen architect to fulfil the requirements. In Cornwall, there is also a new Canopy Cover Policy which can conflict with BNG if not considered in tandem; as a multi-disciplinary company, Land and Heritage can assist you with all of these requirements.

Contact us today to have a chat about your development and we can put together a no-obligation quote.

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