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Biodiversity Net Gain Launch Date Announced

Biodiversity Net Gain Launch Date Announced
22 January 2024

New builds will be subject to mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain rules in England from 12 February 2024.

Announced on the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs blog on 18 January 2024, the launch date was finally set after some initial delays. The policy was originally due to go ahead in November 2023.

The change means that developers building new housing, industrial or commercial developments will have to deliver tangible net gains for biodiversity, such as creating new wildlife habitats. It’s part of the Environment Bill’s commitment to conserving and enhancing biodiversity.


What are the Exceptions to Biodiversity Net Gain Rules?


Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) will apply to major developments under the planning application route with ten or more dwellings, or where the site area is greater than 0.5 hectares. For smaller sites, BNG will not come into play until 2 April 2024.

Smaller sites are defined as:


  • Residential developments where the number of dwellings is between one and nine, or if the site area is less than 0.5 hectares
  • Commercial developments where the floor space created is less than 1,000 square metres or the total site area is less than one hectare


BNG will not apply to applications for retrospective permission. Currently, it is only applications made under the Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) 1990 that are subject to BNG.

Picture: a photograph showing a person wearing a brown coat and carrying a black leather file. The image is taken from below so the person's head and shoulders are not shown. Image Credit: Pexels 

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 22 January 2024


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