Biodiversity Net Gain: The Land Trust welcomes further progress on British Standard for design and implementation of schemes

2nd July 2020

The Land Trust welcomes the further progress of Biodiversity Net Gain and the consultation on the British Standard for the design and implementation of schemes.

Land Trust Development Officer, Joe Heath, said:

“The Land Trust has a wealth of experience in the enhancement of biodiversity with local communities and the management of public open spaces and sensitive habitats within an urban environment. Biodiversity Net Gain is a great opportunity to develop a new wave of residential and commercial developments which embrace biodiversity and bring the benefits of nature back into our neighbourhoods.

“We know only too well that the key to the success of good neighbourhoods is their planning and ensuring that the green spaces and habitats are well considered. As it currently stands, we do not think the British Standard considers the long-term management early enough in the design process. How and who will carry-out the long-term management should be one of the very early design considerations. It is clear that with a potential 10% biodiversity net gain required in the future, there will be more habitat within development sites and for this to really be successful the management of those areas must be properly funded for the long-term and maintained by experienced managers.

“The British Standard should also highlight the need for the design to identify a ‘competent body’ for the management of those habitats. This should be supported by the local planning authority, which will have responsibility for signing off a scheme, assuring itself that the long-term managers are not only competent but are also being appropriately financed for the duration of the biodiversity net gain through a suitable mechanism such as an endowment or service charge.

“The management of onsite BNG is business as usual for the Land Trust on its residential service charge sites where we have an array of diverse habitats. The key to ensuring its success will be the effective communication with residents to ensure they are aware of its importance.

“The Land Trust are experienced managers of SANGS’s and would see that a similar process for the management of offsite biodiversity net gain would be needed. The benefit of the Land Trust model is that we can ensure that net gain will be delivered far beyond 30 years, as our model is based upon in perpetuity management which, in our view, is the true definition of ‘long term’.

“Biodiversity net gain has huge potential to retain, enhance and create new habitats and allow species to thrive, but we must ensure it is not let down by a failure to secure high quality management of those habitats for the long-term.”

If you would like to know more about the Land Trust’s approach to Biodiversity Net Gain then contact Joe via email at joeheath@thelandtrust.org.uk


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