Biodiversity Net Gain Consultancy

Covering a wide range of areas, our biodiversity net gain consultancy is capable of assisting with any obstacles that stand between you meeting the mandate and claiming planning permission from the local planning authorities.

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A Round-Up of Biodiversity Net Gain Consultancy Services

Mandatory biodiversity net gain (BNG) came into power in February 2023 after a two-year transition period starting in November 2021 ended but was extended by a further three months. A planning obligation to many developers throughout England, biodiversity net gain refers to a part of the new Environment Bill, and once that attained royal assent and became the Environment Act 2021, it would go on to cause the most significant changes to development projects in a long period of time.

To successfully achieve biodiversity net gain, developers are required to demonstrate measurable net gains to the natural environment after the new development is complete, improving biodiversity to a better state by at least 10% net gain for the next 30 years. It has quickly become a new top priority for local planning authorities, affecting applications for planning permission. But with the help of our biodiversity net gain consultancy team, you can receive BNG consulting services to ensure you meet the mandate.

an ecologist conducting a biodiversity net gain assessment before creating a BNG plan

Biodiversity Net Gain Consultation

Ever since the concept of biodiversity net gain (BNG) was introduced, our team has kept a close eye on it and how it affects your pre-development and post-development plans. Containing a mix of advanced knowledge and cutting-edge insights, our biodiversity net gain assessments feature everything needed for calculating biodiversity, initiating pivotal steps forward and progressing your project.

By relying on one of the biodiversity net gain plans we’ve created, you are able to navigate your way through the planning system with ease and any possible conflicts with the policy accounted for. In addition to producing a biodiversity net gain assessment and plan, however, our team are equipped to support all issues relating to the mandate, from complying with regulators to offering effective guidance and so much more.

BNG Consultation Services

Undertaking Biodiversity Net Gain Assessments

Involving an extensive evaluation of the development site, a biodiversity net gain assessment shares similarities to a phase one ecology survey such as a preliminary ecological appraisal (PEA), except with a focus on gauging the significance of ecological features, quantifying biodiversity value and focusing specifically on efforts to enhance biodiversity.

Once all various habitat types are accounted for and analysed, the development plans will be cross-referenced to account for any expected habitat loss or gain. Using the latest DEFRA biodiversity metric – currently metric 3.0 – the ecological consultant can calculate biodiversity net gain for the site in question, coming away with insightful pre-development biodiversity units.

Creating Biodiversity Net Gain Plans

Results from the baseline survey will be explained at length within a BNG plan alongside all further information aimed at delivering BNG for the proposed development. Predicted biodiversity losses caused by negative impacts of the project are included in a plan, and if any pragmatic solutions or ongoing management plans are needed, the document will make this clear with how and why.

The pre and post-development biodiversity values within the plan can be compared to identify any deficit that needs to be removed before being built upon by a minimum of 10%. An ecological surveyor caters to every stage of the planning process in a BNG plan, and that includes the integral part it plays in planning applications submitted to the corresponding local planning authority.

Implementing Biodiversity Net Gain

Over the course of achieving BNG, it may be the case that baseline data of the defined area doesn’t return with the desired biodiversity net gain calculation, even with the mitigation hierarchy deciding to build new habitats and preserve existing habitats that are suffering an environmental impact from the development proposal. With extensive knowledge of the mandatory requirement, we can take a different net gain approach.

For instance, if habitat creation isn’t sufficient for avoiding net loss, retaining biodiversity and coming away with a net gain of natural habitats based on the biodiversity metrics given, a last resort would be to refer to biodiversity offsetting. Biodiversity credits of the same value will be purchased off-site from a predetermined habitat site to satisfy the BNG obligations elsewhere. Likewise, if any other exercises are needed such as conducting a habitat survey, we can help.

Leading on Biodiversity Net Gain Principles

With numerous legislation, secondary legislation and both local and national parameters guiding the biodiversity net gain requirements, it can be difficult for the average developer to stay on top of it all unassisted. Rather than leaving you to struggle, our team is on hand to ensure that development proposals are managed correctly and the BNG process is followed to the letter.

Bearing in mind the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), Natural England, the government website and other organisations, local plans and planning policies, we will make sure that nothing has been left out during your biodiversity impact assessment.

Offering Biodiversity Net Gain Guidance

A long list of issues appears during most new developments, and the introduction of biodiversity net gain has only added to that list. Homeowner projects on small sites are likely to be relatively straightforward, but when it comes to ancient woodland, irreplaceable habitat sites, nationally significant infrastructure projects, or other stakeholders in the process, it can get trickier to deal with.

Whatever your development involves, a biodiversity net gain consultant in our ecological consultancy team can help. We understand each and every legal requirement expected from you in the eyes of the local authorities, how planning decisions are made, and what’s needed to achieve BNG. Follow our guidance as we set it out, and you should see no issue with gaining planning consent.

BNG Consultants

Avoiding biodiversity loss, increasing biodiversity to a measurably better state, calculating biodiversity net gain, adhering to UK legislation, producing positive outcomes and providing the retrieved information to the local planning authority immediately can only be done correctly by counting on a suitably capable professional BNG consultant.

Over many years, our team has built up an extensive knowledge of ecology in relation to planning. Following the introduction of new legislation that insists on a net gain increase of 10% biodiversity post-development, we’ve been able to switch our attention to managing the BNG assessment process for clients and contribute a positive impact on their development project.

Biodiversity Net Gain Consultant Skills and Techniques

To carry out a biodiversity net gain assessment and assemble a biodiversity gain plan, a biodiversity net gain consultant has to be qualified and experienced in multiple areas. For instance, not only will they need to understand the biodiversity net gain metrics to create an accurate biodiversity unit score, but also be capable of evaluating habitat parcels on an in-depth basis to initiate adequate habitat management and propose sufficient habitat enhancement.

Other duties include leading onsite and offsite compensation and mitigation, recognising opportunities for strategic significance, working on a range of projects including if it is a commercial, private or residential development, and knowing how best to deal with a mix of people, such as developers, homeowners, land managers and anyone else significantly impacted by the biodiversity net gain requirements.

After confronting all sorts of issues for past clients, each BNG consultant in our team shares the same level of attention to detail and an identical limited number of techniques to satisfy mandatory biodiversity net gain and secure planning permission. Regardless of the site and project’s limitations and obstacles, the ecological consultant will be equipped to expertly oversee the BNG assessment.

Contact Our BNG Consultancy About Your Project

It could be that you are fully aware of the steps you need to take to hit the BNG requirements of your local planning authority, or you may feel totally lost with applying BNG to your development plans. Either way, our biodiversity net gain consultancy can step in, assess your circumstances, analyse your development site and work out what you need to come away with a successful planning application.

In tandem with any other BNG services that could decrease biodiversity loss, increase biodiversity gain and result in net gains of biodiversity on-site or off-site, we can conduct comprehensive assessments and produce high-quality BNG plans to pass on to your planning officer. For expert advice and a quote for your site specifically, get in touch and book a date with a licensed biodiversity net gain consultant.