BNG Plans in Cornwall

Achieve the biodiversity net gain planning requirement in Cornwall by reaching out to our ecologists for a BNG plan that directly addresses any and all ecological constraints on your site.

Get a Quick Quote

Step 1 of 3

Same Day Quotes
Planning Permission Focused
Simple, Hassle-free Service

Ensuring Adherence to Biodiversity Net Gain

With an intention to regulate the state of the natural environment upon completion of new developments, biodiversity net gain (BNG) was introduced in November 2021 as part of the broader Environment Act (the Environment Bill). As the UK is classed as one of the most nature-depleted countries, it now applies as an active piece of legislation, insisting upon the retention of existing biodiversity before increasing it to a better state by a further 10% for a minimum of 30 years in the bulk of major and minor developments.

It will only be confirmed that the rules of BNG have been met successfully if the same level of biodiversity has been kept and a 10% increase can then realistically be achieved on top of that. For this to work, an accurate measurement will be recorded prior to the development and a predicted measurement will be taken once the development has been completed, establishing the current and expected biodiversity value using a predetermined biodiversity metric. Until demonstratable evidence that an at least 10% net gain increase can and will be met has been passed on to the local planning authority, major applications for planning permission will not be granted.

February 2024 marked the end of the two-year transition period when the BNG planning requirement became mandated across the country, with local councils given the opportunity to decide whether or not to enforce it beforehand. In regards to the Cornwall area, developers are advised to tread carefully and take the safe option adhering to biodiversity net gain early in the production of any built environment. Cornwall County Council may be lenient, but as early implementation could lead to delays and countless potential issues, it could save time and money to simply act as if it is already universally applicable.

Existing Biodiversity Value Across Cornwall

One of the most productive regions for recording and surveying wildlife, Cornwall holds frequent exercises indexing wildlife. From an estimated 29,778 different varieties of plants and animals, there have been more than 4.84 million sightings of wildlife, all growing at a rate of 200,000 new records per year. That said, it is technically in decline, with half the number of terrestrial mammals and three-fifths the number of butterflies over the past 30 years.

All natural habitats for animals and plants across the coastline, beaches, harbours and fields of Cornwall are protected by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust. Within the longlist of protected species in Cornwall include bats, barn owls, otters, badgers, dormice, reptiles and birds, along with numerous rare or invasive plant species. As a notably green part of the United Kingdom, the county of Cornwall needs safeguarding to prevent unnecessary destruction of natural sections, with local biodiversity net gain featuring as a primary course of action.

Inspections for Biodiversity Net Gain

A biodiversity net gain assessment of the development site will be conducted, enabling the ecologist to then draw up a biodiversity net gain plan. In the survey, the entirety of the site will be inspected, and based on observations, the current biodiversity value will be determined. The ecological consultant will then request as much information about the planning project as possible such as site plans, development proposals and in-depth conversations with the developer to evaluate the predicted biodiversity value once it has been completed.

Using a predetermined mitigation hierarchy, all ecological features on the site such as protected species of animal and plant will be identified and addressed accordingly. Avoidance is the priority outcome in the mitigation hierarchy, but if this is not possible, the ecological surveyor will need to consider minimising impact, restoring other parts of the site, or offsetting unavoidable impacts elsewhere. In simple terms, it is hoped that rare or valuable assets can be left without intervention, but if that isn’t possible, mitigation will be done safely and within strict protocols, and as it will affect biodiversity value, it will lead to further changes designed to achieve a biodiversity gain.

The main role of the ecologist will be to take the pre-development and post-development scores into consideration before producing outcomes that will see the 10% increase met. Once the assessment has been undertaken, ecological features and natural capital has been identified, mitigation measures and the necessary compensation have been created, and additional suggestions that will meet the 10% increase on-site or off-site have been developed, all of the further information from the process will be compiled in a BNG plan. It can then be passed on to the local planning authorities, displaying all of the evidence needed to prompt a successful planning application.

Contact Our Ecologists

All of our BNG assessments and plans are undertaken and produced by a team of licensed, trained and qualified ecologists with prior knowledge of the planning process, the national planning policy framework (NPPF), the local authorities, the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, biodiversity net gain, and any wider green infrastructure network. Through disciplines in numerous areas, our team has an extensive understanding of local factors such as the boundaries of Cornwall Council and other local authorities and the considerations that could stand between a developer and a successful planning application.

Between executing the current biodiversity metric as part of measuring biodiversity net gain correctly, initiating suitable changes to boost the condition of the natural environment such as the installation of bat and bird boxes, and putting forward viable minor or major applications for a planning condition, we can help. Containing pragmatic solutions, the BNG plan will support the developer in finding success in achieving the goals of biodiversity net gain, and due to it being recognised as trustworthy and accurate evidence in the eyes of the local planning authority, it will play a pivotal role in securing planning consent.

To cater to the fact that every development site and both minor development and major development planning projects are different, we create bespoke quotes using each client’s specifications. For a free quote, simply reach out to us via email, over the phone or using our quick quote form. We can then give you a price for your BNG assessment and plan, and if you are happy with it, we can work with you to decide on a suitable time, conduct the necessary inspection, formulate a BNG plan, and satisfy all planning requirements in major planning applications.