Achieving Biodiversity Net Gain in development


The Environment Act 2021 requires all developments to reach a 10% Biodiversity Net Gain. There are a few exceptions on GOV.UK. This rule applies to major planning applications submitted on or after 12 February 2024. It also applies to some other types of planning applications from 2 April 2024.

The Council has produced this guidance to explain:

  • the level of net gain for biodiversity expected in Wakefield
  • what written information needs to be submitted with planning applications to assess the measurable Biodiversity Net Gain
  • what measures required if 10% Biodiversity Net Gain is not achieved on-site
  • the role of Wakefield Council as the monitoring and reporting body for Biodiversity Net Gain

What is Biodiversity Net Gain?

Biodiversity Net Gain means providing more or better habitats for biodiversity. This measured using the Statutory Defra biodiversity metric or Statutory Small Sites Metric. It encourages development that delivers biodiversity improvements. This is done through habitat creation or enhancement, after avoiding or mitigating harm.

Requirements in Wakefield district

The Council is seeking at least of 10% Biodiversity Net Gain from development. This is shown using the Statutory Biodiversity Metric. You should consider this early in design. Ecologists should provide input. They should be competent and experienced. Net gain should be delivered on-site. If this is not possible, it may involve off-site compensation. This will need to be agreed with the Local Planning Authority.

The Council will expect all applications to follow this guidance. They want this so the information is consistent. This helps them make timely decisions. The Council provides a Pre-application advice service. It may help with this process.

Guidance for Developers

This Guidance for Developers provides guidance on how to achieve Biodiversity Net Gain in Wakefield district. The guidance includes the information needed for planning applications. It covers the local approach to Biodiversity Net Gain. It explains when projects will be strategically significant. It also covers the monitoring of BNG delivery.

Guidance for Householders

Most homeowner applications (for extensions or alterations to small homes) won't need to create biodiversity net gain. But, this Biodiversity Guidance for Householders shows how to add to biodiversity. This can be done through sensitive planting and features like bat roosting and bird nesting.

Other useful links

More information is available in Government Planning Practice Guidance on Biodiversity Net Gain.

The Environmental Benefits from Nature Tool (EBNT) is also available. It helps developers explore the benefits habitats bring to people. For example, it better water quality, flood management, and carbon storage.

This Planning Advisory Service tool is available for smaller developments.

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