In the 2019 Spring Statement the Government announced that it would mandate biodiversity net gains in the forthcoming Environment Bill.
It is important that developers, local planning authorities and other stakeholders, such as ecological consultants, have a unified understanding of what biodiversity net gain is. Simply put, it is the idea that development should result in more or better quality natural habitats. This is be achieved by improving existing or creating new habitat either on the site of a development or elsewhere. It is important to understand that biodiversity net gain does not remove the requirement for implementing the mitigation hierarchy.
The current target set by the Government is a net gain of 10 percent. To help with achieving this DEFRA have produced an updated metric which allows users to calculate the net gain outcomes of a development. It should be noted that this tool should be used in conjunction with expert ecological advice.