Why LPAs Can't Ignore Biodiversity Net Gain Anymore

Why LPAs Can’t Ignore Biodiversity Net Gain Anymore

Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) in the United Kingdom are now at a pivotal juncture: embracing the mandatory requirement of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG). BNG demands that all new developments must demonstrate a net enhancement in biodiversity relative to the pre-construction ecological baseline.

The era of overlooking BNG is over for LPAs, and here are five compelling reasons why:

  1. Mandatory Nature of BNG The recently enacted Environment Act of 2021 has taken the concept of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) from being a mere choice to an absolute requirement for all new developments in England. Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) have been handed the responsibility of enforcing strict adherence to BNG regulations, leaving no room for negligence or non-compliance. Failure to meet these standards can result in serious legal consequences and hefty penalties, making it imperative for developers to prioritize biodiversity preservation in their projects.
  2. Crucial for Biodiversity Preservation It is a sad reality that the United Kingdom is one of the nations that has been severely depleted of natural diversity. The lack of biodiversity poses a significant threat to ecosystems and the overall health of the environment. However, there is hope in the form of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG), which has proven to be an essential instrument in reversing this alarming trend. BNG aims to address the issue by focusing on habitat creation, enhancement, and connectivity across fragmented landscapes. It recognizes the urgent need to restore and protect habitats that have been damaged or destroyed due to human activities. By implementing BNG, there is a potential for substantial improvements in biodiversity. It is crucial for policymakers and stakeholders to prioritize BNG initiatives as they provide a chance for ecosystems to recover and flourish once again. This will not only benefit wildlife but also ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.
  3. Economic Advantages of BNG BNG, also known as the Biodiversity Net Gain, is portrayed as more than just another environmental directive. Advocates argue that it acts as a catalyst for economic growth, supposedly creating a multitude of jobs and business opportunities within the environmental sector. According to DEFRA’s analysis, they predict an astounding 70, 000 new environmental jobs to magically materialize by the year 2035, all thanks to the supposed wonders of BNG.
  4. Public Health and Wellness Benefits The undeniable correlation between proximity to nature and the alleviation of stress, anxiety, and depression has been extensively studied and researched by esteemed institutions such as the University of Exeter. Their findings provide concrete evidence that being in close proximity to natural surroundings can have a profound impact on mental well-being. Therefore, it is imperative for local authorities and organizations to prioritize initiatives that expand green spaces as they play a pivotal role in enhancing community health and overall well-being. Such efforts not only contribute significantly but are also paramount in fostering a healthier and happier society.
  5. Public Endorsement of BNG According to a recent YouGov poll, an astonishingly high 82% of the public expressed support for BNG (Blanket Nationalism Group). This overwhelming majority indicates a significant level of backing from various segments of society, suggesting that the policy has gained broad societal acceptance. This strong endorsement from the public demonstrates a widespread consensus on the necessity and effectiveness of BNG.

Effective Implementation of BNG by LPAs: A Roadmap

LPAs can adopt several strategies to effectively implement BNG:

  • Develop and enforce local planning policies that align with BNG objectives.
  • Provide BNG-focused training and resources to staff.
  • Collaborate with developers to clarify and fulfill BNG requirements.
  • Monitor and ensure compliance with BNG standards.
  • Engage local communities and stakeholders in BNG-related dialogues.

By embracing these measures, LPAs can ensure the successful realization of BNG, leaving the natural world in a better state for future generations.


BNG emerges as a vital tool for safeguarding biodiversity, spurring economic growth, and enhancing public health. LPAs play a crucial role in this transformative journey towards a sustainable future.

Additional Resources for LPAs:

  • The Biodiversity Metric: Natural England Publication
  • DEFRA BNG Guidance: CIEEM Resource
  • CIEEM BNG Good Practice Principles: CIEEM Guide
  • Natural England BNG Toolkit: Toolkit PDF
  • Agile Initiative BNG Checklist: Agile Initiative Guide

For any queries or further insights, feel free to reach out.

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