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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

The biodiversity gain plan: draft template and guidance

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Biodiversity net gain, Land use
Aerial landscape view of homes on an English housing estate. Source: Getty

Calling all developers and local authorities: following testing with stakeholders, we are pleased to share the finalised biodiversity gain plan template, alongside guidance and information on the biodiversity gain plan.

The biodiversity gain plan template and guidance documents

Please click on the links below to access the PDFs.

Q&A on the biodiversity gain plan

What is the biodiversity gain plan?

  • The purpose of the biodiversity gain plan is to provide a clear and consistent document with which a developer sets out how the proposals meet the biodiversity net gain objective. The biodiversity gain plan contains the relevant information for the planning authority to determine whether the biodiversity net gain objective has been met.

What is the procedure for the biodiversity gain plan?

  • The biodiversity gain plan will be submitted as a post-permission document for the approval by the planning authority.
  • The applicant will submit the biodiversity gain plan after the planning permission has been granted to discharge the mandatory biodiversity net gain condition.
  • The biodiversity gain plan must be approved in writing by the planning authority before development can commence.
  • There is a standard biodiversity gain plan template for applicants to complete and planning authorities to assess.
  • Guidance on how to fill in the biodiversity gain plan and how to review the biodiversity gain plan template will be provided.
  • The biodiversity gain plan (and the outcome of the determination) will be required to be published on the relevant local planning authority register.

Who should use the biodiversity gain plan template?

  • The draft template is for standard permissions for major development. A separate template will be provided for phased development.

How has the biodiversity gain plan template been developed?

  • Defra, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Natural England, Environment Agency, and the Forestry Commission have inputted into the development of the biodiversity gain plan template.
  • The draft biodiversity gain plan template was tested with both developers and LPAs. The draft biodiversity gain plan template has been updated to reflect user feedback.

Is the biodiversity gain plan going to be an additional burden for both developers and LPAs?

  • The biodiversity gain plan has been shaped by user feedback. The remaining content matches the requirements of legislation. We have emphasised brevity with suggested word limits.
  • The accompanying guidance documents for developers and LPAs aim to help streamline the process of both completing and reviewing the biodiversity gain plan template.

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