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Biodiversity Net Gain – London Councils

All London councils across the City of London and Greater London will request a BNG plan as a method of demonstrating adherence and compliance to the biodiversity net gain policy. Our team are knowledgeable about BNG and capable of satisfying all requirements to successfully meet the mandate.

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London Compliance with BNG

Within the Environment Act 2021 is a policy known as biodiversity net gain (BNG), which works to enhance the current state of the natural environment to a measurably better state once new developments have been completed. Through integrating simple design considerations and certain design approaches to planning projects, biodiversity value will be retained and improved upon by a further minimum increase of 10%.

A two-year transition period was originally put in place by the UK government, giving both developers and local authorities time to adapt to the policy. It was then down to the local planning authorities in each location to decide whether or not to enforce biodiversity net gain straight away. With it becoming a mandatory consideration to all development projects registered in England, developers planning in London are required to operate within the rules of the London councils, including each of the Greater London Authority and the City of London Corporation.

BNG for all London Councils

The Greater London Authority released a new edition of the London Plan in 2021, detailing how the local council see development across the area over the next 20 to 25 years. As with most local plans, the London Plan includes references to fighting climate change, developing green infrastructure, and creating resilient places to work and live to the residents of London, making the city greener in the process.

All of these factors play a part in mandatory biodiversity net gain, and the policy is mentioned several times throughout the document, including a mention of ‘aiming to secure net biodiversity gains where possible‘. Between the BNG requirements in future developments and clear efforts to encourage urban greening to benefit the standard of the area, the local councils all over London in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust demonstrate a pledge to make biodiversity net gain a priority in the coming years.

Councils in London

  • Barking and Dagenham Council
  • Barnet Council
  • Bexley Council
  • Brent Council
  • Bromley Council
  • Camden Council
  • City of London Corporation
  • Croydon Council
  • Ealing Council
  • Enfield Council
  • Greenwich Council
  • Hackney Council
  • Hammersmith and Fulham Council
  • Haringey Council
  • Harrow Council
  • Havering Council
  • Hillingdon Council

  • Hounslow Council
  • Islington Council
  • Kensington and Chelsea Council
  • Kingston upon Thames Council
  • Lambeth Council
  • Lewisham Council
  • Merton Council
  • Newham Council
  • Redbridge Council
  • Richmond upon Thames Council
  • Southwark Council
  • Sutton Council
  • Tower Hamlets Council
  • Waltham Forest Council
  • Wandsworth Borough Council
  • Westminster City Council

How BNG Affects Development

Since the Environment Bill achieved royal assent and emerged as the Environment Act, the policies within it also became a part of law. Biodiversity net gain is included, and while there was a two-year transition period to allow anyone it would affect to form a better understanding of the planning requirement before having to integrate it into all new developments, it has always been advisable to treat BNG as an applicable part of planning as a method of avoiding any issues with getting planning permissions granted.

It is a far simpler process to adhere to the rules of BNG through referring to the insight and expertise of an ecologist. A first biodiversity value will be recorded to reflect the existing state of the development site before the works are conducted, and a second biodiversity value will be recorded to determine the predicted state of the development site after the works are complete, with the two measurements then compared to gauge what needs to be done to bridge the deficit and enhance by a further 10%.

Biodiversity Net Gain Plans

In order to successfully complete a planning project, developers benefit from growing an understanding of numerous areas. The concept of biodiversity net gain is another consideration that would be worthwhile to become knowledgeable about, particularly as it will now form a key part of development proposals and planning applications moving forwards. That said, even the most extensive knowledge will not compensate for the need for a biodiversity net gain plan conducted by an ecological consultant.

During a prearranged visit to the development site, all areas and features will be evaluated by an ecological surveyor, noting them down to later work out how they would be quantified into a usable biodiversity metric. By comparing the metric of the site based on all features present and the expected metric of the site after the development by looking over the development proposal and speaking to the developer, the ecologist can work out the predicted change in the site’s value as a result of the project.

Once the deficit between the two figures has been met and expanded upon by an extra 10%, the ecological consultant will then assemble a biodiversity gain plan. A BNG plan will hold trustworthy and tangible information in the eyes of the local planning authority about the site, and recommendations that will deliver net gains accordingly. It will also include expert advice, whether it involves changes to the site or project such as new habitat creation that will achieve the rules of the mandate, or alternative steps such as purchasing biodiversity credits / biodiversity units off-site if the rules of the policy cannot be met on-site.

Get in Touch for a BNG Quote

Rather than grouping all valuations into one and making developers working on small projects pay the same as developers working on large projects, we price up each quote individually based on the specifications of each site and project. All you need to do is contact Arbtech over the phone, using our quote form or via our contact page, and our team will produce a free quote and send it to you for your consideration. As soon as you confirm your intention to move forwards with us, let us know by sending back the quote form, and we can work with you to decide on a suitable date for the biodiversity net gain assessment.

All of our ecologists are qualified, trained and experienced in ecological consultancy work, licensed to advise on planning obstacles in England and Wales, and capable of producing a BNG plan that will be recognised as viable and applicable by your local planning authority in London. Using their help, you should see no problem in meeting the requirements of biodiversity net gain, progressing your project and securing planning permission.

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