The Environment Bill published earlier this year, confirmed the Government would mandate net gains in biodiversity for all new planning applications in England and Wales. This will be brought into legislation within the year and will be mandatory for all developers to prove there will be a 10% biodiversity net gain post construction. The development will not be approved unless a Biodiversity Gain Plan has been submitted to the Local Planning Authority.
The DEFRA Biodiversity Metric 2.0 tool first published in July 2019, provides a way of measuring the total number of biodiversity units pre and post construction of a development. The tool produces a quantifiable number of biodiversity units to determine if there will be a net gain or a net loss in biodiversity after construction.
Our experienced ecologists can use the tool to calculate the total net gain in biodiversity units which will then be used to produce a Biodiversity Gain Plan to be submitted alongside the planning application. Our ecologists can also use the tool for any offsite biodiversity gains that may be required.
Cleve Hill Solar Farm, Kent
Arcus used the Biodiversity Metric 2.0 tool to prove that there would be a net gain in biodiversity at the Cleve Hill Solar Park post construction. Relevant and Written Representations in relation to the application requested that a clear “net gain” in biodiversity be demonstrated.
Arcus used information available from the Phase 1 Habitat Survey and the Landscape and Biodiversity Management Plan submitted as part of the application to calculate the total number of biodiversity units pre and post construction.
A net gain in biodiversity was calculated. The total net gain for habitat biodiversity was 65%, an additional 675.73 units compared to the baseline. This was due to habitat creation and enhancement measures proposed post construction.
Visit our Biodiversity Net Gain Metrics Page for further details on the tool.