• 28 January 2019

Biodiversity Net Gain for Developments – Have Your Say

In response to a government consultation on making biodiversity net gain mandatory for all new developments, Waterman have provided input into the DEFRA consultation and we will be closely monitoring how the government takes this agenda forward. The consultation follows hot on the heels of the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in July 2018, which emphasized net gain, outlined stronger protection for the environment and sought to ensure wildlife thrives at the same time as addressing the need for new homes.

Housing developers, including the Berkeley Group, have already committed to providing a net gain for biodiversity within all their new developments. To deliver this objective, the Berkeley Group approached Waterman to create a Biodiversity Toolkit which provides a standardised and quantifiable approach showing how a net gain in biodiversity has been achieved.

Following the creation of the Berkeley Biodiversity Toolkit, Louise Clarke (Head of Sustainable Places) of the Berkeley Group commented:

“We found the Biodiversity toolkit a useful resource for us to help meet our corporate commitment on achieving a net biodiversity gain whilst also a useful tool for our teams to manage biodiversity throughout the project.”

In addition Nick White (Senior Advisor – Net Gain & Green Infrastructure) of Natural England commented:

“Natural England welcomes the development of the Berkeley Group Biodiversity Toolkit. In particular, we believe that by bringing key ecological information and data together into a single and easy to use and follow template this should help all involved in the process readily and easily access information needed to help design in a biodiversity net gain outcome to the project.”

The Berkeley Biodiversity Toolkit has recently been ‘highly commended’ at the South West Built Environment Awards 2018 and aided the Berkeley Group winning the CIRIA Big Biodiversity Challenge Client Award 2018. Being at the forefront in Biodiversity Net Gain, Waterman have launched our own Biodiversity Toolkit that can be used by all developers and has recently won Innovator/Systems Provider of the Year at the 2018 Property Week Management All-Stars Awards event.

In anticipation of the net gain consultation proposals being brought forward, and in consideration of the revised NPPF, we are advising that our clients begin to consider at an early stage how their forthcoming developments can achieve a net gain for biodiversity in the most efficient manner in order to help secure successful planning permissions.

If you would like more information on our Biodiversity Toolkit, or like to explore how you can address biodiversity net gain issues on your development and landholdings, please contact Lee Mantle at Waterman on 0330 060 4327 or email lee.mantle@watermangroup.com.

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