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Shape Institute response on biodiversity net gain

Last month, Defra opened a consultation on Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG). This is an approach to development that means habitats for wildlife must be left in a measurably better state than they were before the development and is mandated through the Environment Act. The way this is implemented will have a significant impact on all members involved in development in England.

Developers will be required to demonstrate that they will deliver a minimum 10% net gain of biodiversity units for area-based habitats (woodlands) and relevant linear habitats (hedgerows, ‘lines of trees’ and watercourses). BNG is expected to become mandatory for all TCPA developments from winter 2023.

We have particular concerns about the metric underpinning BNG, that it does not assess trees properly and meaningfully, and that the guidance does not specify that the ‘competent person’ carrying out the survey should be a tree professional.

What you can do:

  • Respond directly to Defra by 5 April
  • Let us represent your views by send your comments to our Policy Manager by 25 March
  • Get in touch to discuss


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