NEW: Biodiversity Net Gain Guide launches

We are proud to finally launch our new Biodiversity Net Gain guidance in collaboration with ISG, BAM, Willmott Dixon, Mace, Kier, Morgan Sindall, Wates, Galliford Try and Sir Robert McAlpine.

The guide has been created to provide estate managers, public sector consultants, contractors and supply chain partners with everything they need to know to help them prepare for new planning regulations due to be enforced in November 2023.

With just 12 months to go until all public sector building projects will need to ensure a minimum mandatory gain of 10% BNG value for all developments, the SCF BNG guide, which applies to both new build and retrofit projects, gives vital support to ensure that as a design develops the necessary considerations are made to meet the legislation on time.  It also outlines the responsibilities of appointed specialists and give tips aligned to each of the design stages.

Biodiversity Net Gain is an aspect of the Environment Bill 2021, which mandates evidenced “Net Gain” for nature as a requirement of the Planning Permission process. This legislative change establishes a metric and a methodology by which this impact needs to be assessed, monitored and reported, as well as stipulating the responsibilities, requirements and parameters for compliance.

Access the guidance

Kingsley Clarke, Operations Lead at SCF said:

“Our goal with the BNG guide was to make it an open resource for anyone to use as a practical tool to meet the legislation deadline. It’s about raising the bar across the industry in making the changes we need to future proof public sector projects.

“But meeting the legislation is just one part of the whole picture. Ultimately, delivering on BNG is about ensuring a diverse eco environment in our project communities to support nature, in particular insects, who are critical to the circle of life.”

In addition to the enhancements to be designed into a project to increase diversity, there are requirements for a 30-year management plan for delivered nature enhancements guaranteeing longevity.  The BNG guide supports decision making on the 30-year plan at the earliest stages of designing a project, to ensure that this requirement can be met over the long-term.

What is Biodiversity Net Gain?

As the guide explains, biodiversity refers to the ecological assets of a physical building site and net gain refers to the increased overall biodiversity value of a site after construction/development.

The BNG guide includes:

  • Definitions, drivers and methodology associated with Biodiversity Net Gain
  • Core regulation fundamentals, technical definitions & jargon
  • What to expect in a Biodiversity Net Gain assessment report
  • Measuring Impact against Biodiversity Net Gain
  • Team responsibilities and accountabilities
  • Access to the DEFRA Calculator Tool
  • The RIBA stages and relevant themes for BNG
  • Detailed on-site delivery dos and don’ts
  • Links to resources

Cathy Myatt, Head of Environmental Policy and Improvement, Willmott Dixon added: “We are committed to helping our project communities maximise improvements in environmental benefits and having this new guidance tool will help all project stakeholders to enhance biodiversity and prepare for the upcoming planning changes for biodiversity net gain.

“The guidance will support users to understand what is needed and engage the right resources at the right time.  Ultimately this will help us all to build nature into our projects from the beginning and deliver improvements over the long-term.”