Toggle menu

Cost of living support

Advice and support to help manage the rising cost of living.

Biodiversity net gain

What biodiversity net gain is, land manager guidance, developer guides and how to calculate biodiversity value.

Biodiversity net gain (BNG) is a way to contribute to the recovery of nature while developing land. It is making sure the habitat for wildlife is in a better state than it was before development.

This will apply from November 2023 for developments in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, unless exempt. It will apply to small sites from April 2024.

Who it will affect

BNG will apply to you if you are a:

  • land manager
  • developer

It will also affect us as the local planning authority (LPA).

If you are a land manager

You can get paid by selling biodiversity units.

You must be a land manager with:

  • land in England
  • consent to register land if you're not the landowner
  • a legal agreement for the land you're registering

Find out how to sell biodiversity units as a land manager on GOV.UK.

You can also see guidance on combining environmental payments: biodiversity net gain (BNG) and nutrient mitigation on GOV.UK.

If you are a developer

You must try to avoid loss of habitat to a piece of land you plan to do development work on. If you cannot do this, you must create habitat either on-site or off-site.

On-site means on the land your development work is on. Off-site is either your own land away from the development site, or you have bought units from a land manager.

If you cannot use on-site or off-site land, you must buy statutory credits from the government. You must provide evidence for using this option. This must be a last resort. The government will invest in habitat creation elsewhere in England.

You may be able to combine all 3 options to make up your BNG. You must discuss this with an ecologist, as you will need to prove why you cannot use one option. You must get approval from your local planning authority before you start building.

You can find guidance on what you can count towards a development's biodiversity net gain (BNG) on GOV.UK.

Local planning authority

As the LPA we will have to approve a biodiversity net gain plan for development work before it can start.

Calculate a biodiversity value

The biodiversity metric is a habitat based approach used to assess an area's value to wildlife. The metric uses habitat features to calculate a biodiversity value.

Find out when and how to use the biodiversity metric to assess the value of a project or development to wildlife on GOV.UK.

Local guidance

The Essex Local Nature Partnership has produced some guidance on BNG