Biodiversity net gain

Biodiversity net gain (BNG) is an approach to development and land management that aims to leave the natural environment in a better state than it was before. It is intended to deliver measurable improvements for biodiversity by creating or enhancing habitats together with development. Achieving BNG means that natural habitats will be extended or improved as part of a development or project.

The Environment Act has introduced a 10% mandatory requirement for BNG for most development proposals seeking planning permission in England.

As a result, BNG will be a priority in development as a general principle at Enfield. Open spaces, new buildings and development design should deliver biodiversity benefits throughout the borough.

This approach aligns with Enfield’s Emerging Local Plan, Climate Action Plan, Blue and Green Strategy and Biodiversity Action Plan. This ensures a clear commitment in prioritising biodiversity and delivering improvements to the local environment.

Draft biodiversity net gain guidance note

The requirement to demonstrate and deliver at least 10% BNG, and the processes involved in doing so, are set nationally. This will be mandatory for most development proposals seeking planning permission in England.

BNG will be mandatory for major developments from 12 February 2024. BNG will become mandatory for minor developments on 2 April 2024 and is expected to extend to Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, from late November 2025.

View the draft biodiversity net gain guidance note (PDF, 737.99 KB).

The purpose of this draft document is to provide interim guidance on BNG. It shows how new housing, or industrial or commercial developments will be designed in a way that provides benefits to people and nature, and reduces its impact on the wider environment.

The document outlines the requirements of the Environment Act and National Planning Policy Framework, and guidance from Natural England and the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management. It also sets out how BNG is expected to make a meaningful contribution to nature recovery.

The BNG guidance note provides information on:

The document is aimed at the development industry (in relation to housing and non-residential), and anyone considering promoting land for habitat creation and enhancement, including:

It may also be of interest to a wide range of conservation bodies and other technical stakeholders, and the general public to better prepare for planning submissions.

Please note - the draft guidance note is not a formal planning policy. It does not establish a new planning policy, or supersede any existing planning policy. Instead, it sets out how Enfield Local Planning Authority intends to apply existing policy and prepare for upcoming mandatory BNG.

Updates

We will continue to explore options if the proposed changes are introduced, and update this page as appropriate.

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