Ecology & Planning

It is likely that delivery of biodiversity net gain will be made mandatory in England, meaning that developments will need to use a metric to measure the extent of net gain required. It is not yet certain, however, how biodiversity net gain will be delivered. Given the need to provide additional land, the use of conservation covenants may become key to the delivery mechanism. Developers need to understand and contribute to developing this mechanism in order to achieve a practical and sustainable outcome.
Steve Betts, BSG Ecology Partner, led a biodiversity offsetting and net gain seminar to a large audience of developers and planning consultants in Newcastle on 27 February 2019. A key aim of the session was to share learning and promote good practice. The session set out a brief history of biodiversity offsetting and net gain in England and provided an overview of planning policy, which currently varies both locally and nationally.
BSG Ecology is delighted to be able to offer support to clients who are looking to undertake BREEAM Ecology assessments using the New Construction 2018 Guidance. Although the 2018 guidance has taken some time to filter into common usage (as many well established projects have been able to work to 2014 guidance), we have now had the opportunity to apply the 2018 Land Use and Ecology criteria to a number of projects in both England and Wales.
This article on biodiversity and the new NPPF summarises what the guidance has to say about sustainable development and biodiversity net gain. We also look at whether we are now clearer about how net gain is to be measured, and whether we are likely to see more consistency in its application by local planning authorities and decision taking.

Last month the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan set out a £1.1bn vision for East Bank at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This new centre of culture, education, innovation and growth, will provide new homes for the London College of Fashion, the BBC’s music-recording operations, a...

BSG Ecology Partner Steven Betts attended the MPA’s ‘Quarries & Nature 2017 – 'Appreciating Assets’ event, which was hosted by BBC Radio 4's Farming Today presenter Sybil Ruscoe, on Thursday 19 October at The Royal Society, London.  The event was attended by a range of environmental and conservation organisations as well as industry operators to celebrate the industry's contribution to nature conservation.
As reported by the BBC on 7 November 2016, a Government review of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) estate has concluded that ninety-one sites covering an area of approximately 32,500 acres will be released. This will result in running cost savings for the MoD, and free up land that has the potential to deliver up to 55,000 new homes.
Following the referendum result, there is a high degree of uncertainty as to what the result means for the environment, not least with regard to effects on all the existing EU environmental regulations including legal provisions for wildlife. The current environmental legislation, national and local planning policy all remain applicable at this time and until greater clarity is provided by the Government , our view at BSG Ecology, is that it’s business as usual.