Biodiversity Net Gain to become mandatory from 12 February 2024

January 2024

After much delay and anticipation, a launch date for mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) has now been published. From 12 February 2024 all major development projects will be required to provide a 10% net gain for biodiversity. This will need to be demonstrated through the submission a completed Statutory Biodiversity Metric which has been informed by specific habitat condition survey work carried out on site.

The requirement for mandatory BNG will not apply to a planning permission, if the planning application was made before 12 February 2024.Transitional arrangements have also been put in place that mean that if planning permission was granted before 12 February (and that permission wasn’t subject to BNG), if there is then an application via section 73 to vary a planning condition on that permission, the new permission granted (under section 73) would also be exempt from BNG.

Major development includes residential developments of 10 or more dwellings, or where the site area is greater than 0.5 hectares. Where sites are classified as ‘small’ in nature a time extension is provided before mandatory BNG becomes necessary, with this requirement for such sites applying from 02 April 2024. Small sites are defined as those with between 1 – 9 residential units that are less than 0.5ha in size; or commercial development where the floor space to be created is less than 1,000 square metres or the total site area is less than 1 hectare.

Mandatory BNG will extend to cover Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) from late 2025.

Read more about biodiversity net gain in our brochure ‘Briefing for developers. Biodiversity Net Gain – The Basics’ accessible from our website here.

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