Wavin: Biodiversity net gain guide

Wavin: Biodiversity net gain guide

Changes to the Environment Act mean that biodiversity net gain (BNG) is now mandatory for housing developers in England from January 2024, with smaller sites included from April 2024. Designed to protect and enhance the natural environment, the changes represent a steep learning curve for house builders and developers.

The UK’s new approach will be a step-change in the way building projects interact with surrounding ecosystems. It’s designed to rehabilitate some of the damage human development has caused to natural habitats – turning offsetting’s ‘burn now, pay later’ approach to sustainability on its head. Instead, restoration of on-site and local biodiversity will become a key priority for developments covered by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. But this nature-first approach goes further than just restoring the natural environment, it also offers significant benefits to developers. The proximity of blue and green spaces to homes directly increases the premiums buyers are willing to pay. Even in today’s tough financial climate, developers who enrich projects with natural onsite features typically drive greater ROI and have an “undoubtedly positive economic future”.

To comply with the new biodiversity regulations and capitalise on the opportunities they create, developers must quickly get up-to-speed with how they can incorporate habitat-improving features like blue-green roofs, mature trees and rain gardens into development plans. Enlisting biodiversity best practice at the earliest stages of development will accelerate application processes, support planning permission and prevent unnecessary costs and setbacks.

To help you get ahead of the new changes, this guide covers:
• Why the UK needs a new approach to biodiversity
• The key principles for maximising BNG
• New legal requirements relating to BNG
• How to achieve a 10% net gain through onsite improvements
• How BNG can boost a development’s bottom line

The full guide – New Biodiversity Net Gain Legislation is available when you subscribe to monthly Indepth emails on the Wavin UK blog here.

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