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Home / Expertise / Sectors / Transport and Infrastructure / Biodiversity Net Gain / Biodiversity Net Gain for local authorities
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Biodiversity Net Gain for local authorities

Biodiversity Net Gain, or BNG, is a new obligation that applies to all planning applications from November 2025. Developers are required to improve biodiversity by at least 110% compared with what is being lost by the development.

What is Biodiversity Net Gain?

Biodiversity Net Gain, or BNG, is a new mandatory condition being attached to all planning permissions, where any habitat lost by the development must be replaced with enhanced habitat elsewhere. The improvement in habitat needs to score at least 110% of the value of the habitat that is being lost, according to a ‘biodiversity units’ metric developed by Natural England. There must be a commitment to maintain the new habitat in its target condition for at least 30 years.

Full details of the new regime are set out in Schedule 7A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

It is essential to start planning now, whether you are expecting to make a planning application, are looking to earn money from developers looking for enhanced habitat, either as a landowner or broker, or work for a local authority planning team. 

BIODIVERSITY NET GAIN FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES

What local authorities can do

The standard planning application form has now changed and includes declarations about BNG. With that in mind, you may wish to:

review your BNG policies so that they align with the mandatory requirements, even if they go further (such as requiring more than 10% gain);
create a template s106 agreement for (a) onsite BNG land associated with a planning permission and (b) offsite BNG land; and
draft a model planning condition for securing onsite BNG if you intend to allow it to be secured that way.

Local authorities table

Some local authorities may have stricter policies than the statutory minimum of 10% net gain. You can check your local authority’s BNG policies via our table which contains links to England’s 317 local councils’ references to BNG.

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