North East England Ecology
In a environmental report on the North East, it is claimed that the region is rich in high quality countryside areas, making it one of the strongest parts of the UK when it comes to biodiversity. Factors that have contributed to this in recent times include a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, an improvement to both air and water quality, and a decline to traditional industries that previously caused major harm to the local environment.
However, despite gradual improvements to local biodiversity, various issues remain. For example, the North East coastline has seen rising sea levels of around four millimetres per year, deprived areas are suffering from an ongoing lack of attention and a minimal demand for new housing, and 8% of grade one and grade two listed buildings in the region are now considered ‘at risk’.
Since November 2021, biodiversity net gain (BNG) has been a consideration for developments moving forward. It ensures that developments increase the state of biodiversity by at least 10% post-development compared to the site pre-development. Applying to all of England, the BNG requirement impacts any and all planning projects in the North East region and the counties of County Durham, Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and North Yorkshire within it.
Local Authorities in North East England
Although the BNG planning policy is universal across England, the local council you will need to satisfy will vary based on the location of the project. Below, you will find all of the local authorities in the North East, including all counties, boroughs and districts.
- Darlington Borough Council
- Durham County Council
- Hartlepool Borough Council
- Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
Tyne and Wear
- Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council
- Newcastle City Council
- North Tyneside Council
- South Tyneside Council
- Sunderland City Council
- Ashington Town Council
- Blyth Town Council
- Castle Morpeth Borough Council
- Cramlington Town Council
- East Bedlington Town Council
- West Bedlington Town Council
- North Northumberland Local Area Council
- Seaton Valley Community Council
- Tyndale District Council
- Guisborough Town Council
- Middlesbrough Council
- Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
- Stokesley Town Council
- Yarm Town Council
Introduced as part of the Environment Act 2021, biodiversity net gain is a mandatory part of all land development projects that guarantees an improvement to the state of the environment on the site. It works through a measurement of biodiversity being recorded before and after the development to gauge whether the 10% minimum increase has been met. If it hasn’t, certain changes can be initiated to meet the requirement and enhance local biodiversity.
Currently, the government are supporting a two-year transition period, allowing developers and local councils to gradually adjust to the concept of BNG. However, in preparation for it becoming mandatory, planning departments within many of the country’s local authorities have already implemented the biodiversity net gain policy. As such, it would be advisable to approach any development under the impression that BNG will definitely apply, as it will avoid any potential stumbling blocks and boost your application for planning permission.
Biodiversity Net Gain Solutions
The concept of biodiversity net gain was announced in 2018 before undergoing several changes and becoming a part of legislation in 2021. Through a quick movement into UK law, a large number of developers – both professional and private – haven’t had chance to become fully aware of what BNG is, how it works or how it could impact their development. It can also be difficult to find expert help on the matter, with many ecological consultancies racing to get up to speed.
Unlike other ecology service providers, we possess an extensive knowledge of biodiversity net gain and followed it from inception through to gaining royal assent and acting as an enforceable law. With such an understanding of the planning policy, we are a trustworthy and insightful presence in ensuring you are following BNG correctly, and the biodiversity net gain plans we produce will enable you to meet the 10% requirement and gain the necessary planning conditions.
Organise a BNG Survey
As previously indicated, incorporating biodiversity net gain as another consideration in your land development project would be worthwhile, even if the policy is undergoing a two-year transition. That way, whether your local planning authority is adhering to BNG or not, you will be sufficiently covered and won’t suffer any costly or time-consuming delays.
For effective recommendations that will guarantee the required net gain of biodiversity, our BNG assessments and plans will ensure impactful enhancements to appease your local council and support your planning permission application. Each BNG survey is bespoke to the site and project, and we pledge to provide a comprehensive service that will greatly benefit your development and keep your project within the strict rules of corresponding legislation.
Simply get in touch using the number or quote form at the top of this page, and one of our helpful team will be able to take down your details and send you an accurate quote based on your site and project. Every quote is completely free and without any obligation, and if you decide to proceed, we can arrange a site visit at the next possible opportunity to begin your BNG plan and get your project moving through planning.