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The Environment Act 2021 received Royal Assent and passed into law on 9 November 2021. Part 6 of the Act included powers to introduce mandatory obligations in relation to new developments to ensure a minimum 10% net gain in biodiversity which is permitted to be achieved on site or by offsetting in another location.
This creates significant opportunities and challenges for both developers and landowners as discussed in our article on 1 April 2021 Biodiversity Net Gain - Opportunities and Challenges
Much detail on how the Biodiversity requirements will be delivered in practice is still to be decided. As such, on 11 January 2022, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published a consultation on biodiversity net gain regulations and implementation. The consultation closes on 5 April 2022. DEFRA Consultation
The consultation is split into three parts:
Part 1: Defining the scope of the biodiversity net gain requirement for development
Part 2: Applying the biodiversity gain objective to different types of development
Part 3: Details of how the requirement will work for the Town and County Planning regime, including the plan, off-site gains, habitat banking, the site register, additionality, statutory biodiversity credits, and reporting, evaluation and monitoring
Developers, private landowners and national charities should consider responding to this consultation.
The results of the consultation will be important:
In developing the policy framework for the introduction of the mandatory biodiversity requirements for planning applications.
For those interested: