Implementation of Biodiversity Net Gain delayed until January 2024

Legislation Update
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Following an announcement on 27th September 2023, the Government has set out a revised timeframe for the implementation of its 10% Biodiversity Net Gain requirement for planning applications, which was due to first come into force in November.

The updated timeframe is as follows:

– Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects are planned for 2025

– Small Sites will be applicable from April 2024

– Other Sites will be applicable from January 2024

The Government confirms that by the end of November 2023 it will publish all guidance and the regulations including:

– the statutory biodiversity metric, critical for calculating the correct biodiversity gain

– the draft Biodiversity Gain Plan template, which will help developers prepare for what they will need to complete during the planning application stages

– the Habitat Management and Monitoring Plan template, which will set out how the improved significant on-site and off-site habitats will be managed for the long term

– a package of Biodiversity Net Gain guidance that sets out further advice for landowners, developers, and Local Planning Authorities around their role and responsibilities in delivering mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain

It states that these materials will ensure that developers and planning authorities have access to the necessary tools and information to effectively implement Biodiversity Net Gain from January 2024.

Trudy Harrison, Biodiversity Minister said:

“The updated timetable and guidance we are setting out today will help smooth the transition ahead of the Biodiversity Net Gain going fully live in January 2024”.

As outlined by Trudy Harrison, this announcement will come as welcome news to many developers and Councils, enabling the publication of the much-needed guidance and regulations in advance of the implementation of Biodiversity Net Gain in the new year.

We await the publication of these materials at the end of November, which will only allow developers and Councils the month of December to get fully up to speed and to produce the necessary documentation in support of applications submitted from January 2024.