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Developer’s Guide to BNG (Biodiversity Net Gain)


As the Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) mandate came into effect on 12 February 2024, achieving a 10% net gain onsite is becoming increasingly challenging for developers. In this evolving landscape, the importance of sourcing BNG off-site units has never been more pronounced. At Natural Habitat Bank, our primary goal is to streamline this process. We’re dedicated to offering readily available BNG units, ensuring developers not only meet their biodiversity commitments but also advance their projects efficiently and in harmony with the environment.

BNG Unit Acquisition:

Since the mandatory introduction of BNG on 12 February 2024, there has been a significant rise in the demand for established BNG units. At Natural Habitat Bank, we’re strategically positioned to address this surge. Our portfolio boasts a range of readily available, pre-established habitats, designed to meet the current demand.

Certain regions, known for their high developmental activity, have already seen an increased requirement for offsite BNG units. It’s prudent to be aware that, in situations where units within a specific local authority are exhausted, the procurement of cross-boundary units becomes necessary. Such scenarios could lead to substantial cost escalations unless units of identical habitat types are secured.

To ensure that developers are best positioned for these industry shifts, we are now open to early expressions of interest. We encourage proactive engagement to mitigate future constraints.

Our expansive Habitat Banks, strategically located across the country, offer developers a seamless avenue to procure essential Biodiversity Units. Each unit signifies a quantifiable increase in biodiversity, ensuring that your endeavours not only align with current regulatory benchmarks but also champion genuine ecological betterment.

How It Works:

Acquiring BNG Units in Four Seamless Steps

1. Initial Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) Assessment:

Commence with a comprehensive Biodiversity Net Gain assessment of your development project. If the 10% mandatory net gain cannot be achieved on-site, this assessment will determine the type and number of off-site units required to meet the 10% net gain mandate.


2. Agreement on Sale & Selection:

Upon identifying the unit type and number required for your project, Natural Habitat Bank will engage with you to provide the ideal solution in terms of unit type and quantity. The price for these units will be agreed upon, ensuring transparency and value.

3. Legal Undertaking & Transfer of Responsibility:

We act as your representative, negotiating directly with the local authority to fulfil your BNG obligations. Through this engagement, we enter into a Section 106 agreement or conservation covenant with the local authority. From that juncture, every responsibility associated with your off-site arrangement is shouldered by Natural Habitat Bank, ensuring that your commitments are met seamlessly and professionally.

4. Unlock Planning & Achieve Compliance:

Your planning issues are now resolved, and you hold no responsibility regarding your off-site units. All management, maintenance, and reporting costs are borne by Natural Habitat Bank. Regular updates can be provided, ensuring openness and transparency without any of the associated burdens.

More Than Just Biodiversity Units: Comprehensive Support from Inception to Approval

At Natural Habitat Bank, we pride ourselves on being more than just a provider of Biodiversity Net Gain Units. We stand alongside developers as a partner, offering guidance, expertise, and unwavering support from the very inception of a project through to its successful planning approval. Our tailored services ensure that every ecological and regulatory aspect is adeptly managed, helping you seamlessly navigate the complexities of the environmental landscape.

Register Your Interest

1. Full Responsibility Transfer:

At Natural Habitat Bank, we believe developers should focus on what they do best: building and creating. That’s why, when you work with us, we take on the entire weight of ecological responsibility. From entering into Section 106 agreements or conservation covenants to address planning requirements with local authorities, we handle it all. Once an agreement is in place, we assume all future costs, reporting requirements, and monitoring duties. We ensure habitats are maintained to the highest standards, without the developer having to give it a second thought. Simply put, from that day onwards, all biodiversity responsibilities are transferred to us, offering developers peace of mind and a clear path forward.

2. Guidance:

Navigating the intricacies of biodiversity regulations can be challenging. We offer comprehensive guidance tailored for developers. Our team of experts ensures that you are well-versed with the latest regulatory framework, ecological requirements, and best practices. With our guidance, you’ll be equipped to make informed decisions, ensuring your projects are compliant, sustainable, and beneficial for both the environment and your planning objectives.

3. Planning Support:

Achieving Biodiversity Net Gain is not just about acquisition; it’s about integration. Our planning support extends from the initial phases of a project right through to its culmination. We assist developers in embedding biodiversity considerations into every stage of their project’s lifecycle. This not only facilitates smoother planning approvals but also fosters projects that are ecologically sound and community-appreciated.

4. Legal Framework Compliance:

The ever-evolving legal landscape around biodiversity requires developers to be astutely informed and compliant. Our in-house team of legal experts ensures that your projects align seamlessly with current legal frameworks, including the Environment Bill and associated regulations. We offer consultation services, helping developers navigate the nuances of legal requirements, ensuring that potential legal hurdles are anticipated and effectively addressed.

5. Local Policy Guidance

Navigating local policy is pivotal for the effective incorporation of Biodiversity Net Gain. Local authorities craft bespoke strategies that developers need to consider, serving dual purposes:

Tailored BNG Delivery: Authorities may set distinct criteria, such as Green Infrastructure and Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS), guiding effective offsite BNG initiatives and influencing strategic habitat creation.

BNG & Local Vision Synergy: By weaving BNG into a Local Plan, biodiversity aligns with wider strategic imperatives, fostering a comprehensive regional vision.

At Natural Habitat Bank, we stand ready to guide developers through these complexities, offering insights and championing best practices to harmonise projects with local and expansive environmental goals.

6. Monitoring:

Ensuring the sustained health and prosperity of habitats is essential. Post-establishment of a Habitat Bank, we provide robust monitoring services. Utilising advanced technology and ecological expertise, we track the development and well-being of the habitats. Regular reports are furnished to Local Authorities, offering insights into the habitat’s health, the effectiveness of interventions, and ensuring that the Biodiversity Units retain their value over time.

Register Your Interest and Unlock Complete Support:

If you’re seeking advice, guidance, or need to purchase BNG units, don’t wait. Register your interest with us at an early stage to unlock the full spectrum of support we offer. At Natural Habitat Bank, we’re more than just a service provider; we’re your partner in achieving Biodiversity Net Gain offsite. By registering, you gain priority access to updates, exclusive offers, and our newly established Habitat Banks. Our dedicated team stands ready, ensuring you’re not just informed but also empowered for every stage of your project. Join us in crafting a brighter, more sustainable future.

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