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Plan-makers advised to adhere to minimum biodiversity net gain “unless justified”

by | 22 Feb 24 | Nature & Biodiversity, News

A new adjustment made by the UK government to the biodiversity net gain (BNG) legislation advises plan-makers not to seek more than the minimum statutory net gain “unless justified”.

Updates to the draft guidance for implementing BNG, which came into effect earlier this month, includes the removal of a line that said planners “may seek a higher percentage” than the minimum 10% uplift.

The guidance now states “plan-makers should not seek a higher percentage than the statutory objective of 10% biodiversity net gain either on an area-wide basis or for specific allocations for development “unless justified.”

It goes on to say plan-makers must “justify such policies” with evidence that the local area is in need of a higher percentage, inclusive of local opportunities. As well as impacts on the viability of the development.

Research published back in January by Carter Jones showed an increasing number of local planning authorities were already requesting in excess of the 10% uplift, with reasonable belief this number would only increase.

Prompting the question, what does this latest change to the legislation mean for plan-makers?

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