New Biodiversity Net Gain requirements resulting in low levels of confidence

New Biodiversity Net Gain requirements resulting in low levels of confidence

Planners across the public and private sectors have reported report low levels of confidence in their ability to handle new Biodiversity Net Gain requirements in the planning process, according to a survey from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

The measures, introduced under the Environment Act, came into effect on February 12th and require local planning authorities (LPAs) to assess and seek mitigation of the expected biodiversity net gain impact of planning proposals.

However, an ongoing survey of RTPI members found that:

  • 81% of planners in the public sector need further ‘guidance, advice and support’.
  • 68% of all planners need more staff and skills, and 61% require more case studies of best
  • 69% of planners in the private sector whose developments and land will now need to demonstrate BNG gain as part of the planning application process, want more case studies of best practice.

The updated figures also show that 41% of public sector planners still cannot confirm whether they’ll have access to the necessary ecological expertise to comply with the new BNG requirements before implementation.

Victoria Hills, chief executive of the RTPI, said: “We made it clear to the Government that, without adequate funding, new BNG requirements could add disruption and delays in already overstretched LPAs.

We’ve recently seen almost a thousand RTPI members sign up for a webinar on BNG in the hope of finding out information on the process and will be holding more events in the future to help planners implement these changes effectively.”

Planners are encouraged to report any issues with the implementation of BNG using the RTPI’s survey platform, with input helping the Institute to provide Government with a detailed picture of the challenges BNG is causing.

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