Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is a new planning requirement that aims to leave our natural environment better off than it was before development took place. Under the Environment Act 2021 all new developments in England (with a few exemptions) will have to deliver at least 10% increase in biodiversity.

Applicants will need to demonstrate measurable improvements for biodiversity by creating or enhancing habitats in association with their proposed development.

Here are some examples of how BNG can be achieved in different types of development:

  • Housing developments: Planting trees and shrubs, creating wildflower meadows, installing bat and bird boxes, and providing green spaces for residents to enjoy.
  • Commercial developments: Creating green roofs and living walls, using native plants in landscaping, and providing habitats for pollinators.
  • Infrastructure developments: Creating wildlife corridors, planting trees and shrubs along roads and railways, and providing nesting sites for birds.

BNG will be measured using Defra’s Biodiversity Metric.

This is a complex tool, with is reliant on up-to-date ecological information and requires specialist knowledge to complete. Pre-application advice to agree the inputs are therefore encouraged.

Find out more about Pre -application planning advice

Secondary legislation and guidance were published at the end of November 2023, with BNG on major development expected to go live in January 2024.

Find out more about the government’s draft regulations and guidance on BNG

This webpage will be updated as more information and guidance becomes available