What is biodiversity net gain?
The Environment Bill 2019 introduced the concept of Biodiversity Net Gain, which relates to the protection, preservation and enhancement of habitats. ALL developers will be required to deliver a 10% increase to existing biodiversity in respect of any new development. This can be achieved on-site, off-site or both.
How is biodiversity assessed?
A spreadsheet-based tool is used to assess the existing on-site biodiversity, using data from ecological surveys. This is converted into biodiversity units, which can then be measured to determine how many units are required.
Biodiversity Credits, what will they cost?
The cost of credits remains unclear, however, an average offsetting scheme on farmland may yield 4 units/hectare. There is talk of average value of units sitting at around £9,000-£15,000/unit for the lifetime of the management agreement (looks to be a minimum of 30 years), equating to roughly £800/acre/year paid to the landowner. This scheme could be of particular interest to farmers to help fill the funding gap due to BPS being phased out. We look forward to reporting more on this subject when further information on the Environmental bill is released.