Exceptions to the Rule
The Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) requirement under the Environment Act 2021 applies to most types of development. However, there are several important exceptions. One is that sites of high ecological value, such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) or areas with protected species, follow different regulations. In these instances, the focus shifts towards avoiding harm to the biodiversity and managing the site to maintain or enhance its ecological value.
Permitted developments and householder applications, which typically involve minor changes to existing properties, are also exempt. The same applies to small-scale self-build and custom-build sites, reflecting the smaller impact such developments usually have on biodiversity.
Exceptions also include developments impacting habitats of an area below 25 square meters or 5 meters for linear habitats like hedgerows. Furthermore, urgent crown development or other development types prescribed by the Secretary of State fall outside the purview of the BNG requirement.
Nationally significant infrastructure projects, military developments, and certain urban development projects may also be exempt from the BNG requirement. In addition, irreplaceable habitats like ancient woodland, sand dunes, and salt marshes are exempted since the focus in these areas is on preservation rather than improvement.
Marine development is another area that, for now, isn’t included under the BNG requirement, although the government is working to address this and define a marine net gain approach separately.
How Can We Help? Working With Ecologists to Deliver Biodiversity Net Gain
Our company excels in delivering high-quality Landscape Design that does not compromise on ecological value. We achieve this by working closely with expert ecologists throughout the planning and design processes. From the initial plant selection to the detailed material specification, our experienced team ensures that every aspect of the project contributes to the Biodiversity Net Gain.
We provide innovative Landscape Management solutions that integrate seamlessly with the natural environment while fulfilling all the requirements set by the 2021 Environment Act. Our landscape architects are committed to creating designs that not only meet the mandatory 10% net gain but often exceed it, offering clients a unique selling point for their developments.
The 10% Biodiversity Net Gain requirement presents a golden opportunity to enhance our built environment in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. For developers searching for landscape architects that understand the intricacies of the new regulation, our team is ready to guide you through the process, ensuring compliance with BNG principles without compromising on aesthetics or functionality.
This new approach to Landscape Planning is not just about meeting legislative requirements – it is about embracing an exciting future in which architecture and nature exist in harmony, contributing to a healthier, more biodiverse world. This is the future of Environmental Planning, and we are here to help you be a part of it.