IEMA responds to Defra biodiversity net gain for planning consultation

26th May 2022

Defra kickstarted 2022 with its January consultation on biodiversity net gain (BNG) regulations and im-plementation.

Building on the Environment Act published last year, the consultation was rooted in the planning system and examined how BNG should be introduced to planning for developments. The proposals covered small and large-scale development, phased and temporary developments, and everything down to household applications. It also included Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs). The suggestion for most (but not all) developments was that the BNG should last for 30 years and attain 10% net gain.

The consultation included a potential biodiversity plan for developers and planners to use, and tackled onsetting and offsetting options. It also built on the concept of biodiversity units as a tool for creating biodiversity credits to be sold through biodiversity banks, as introduced in the Environment Act.

To ensure a robust response to the consultation, IEMA hosted a webinar with Defra and Natural England, followed by two workshops with IEMA members. IEMA members supported the attempt to create BNG within the planning system, as long as relevant resources were created to effectively implement and maintain BNG. IEMA’s recommendations included:

  • Strong support for the use of the mitigation hierarchy and the exclusion of irreplaceable habitats as per the Planning Framework
  • Resources are needed to carry out the proposals within the consultation, as well as upskilling and training
  • Appropriate guidance for the use of the BNG plan document for developers and planners
  • No de minimus for the size of habitat, and to make at least 10% net gain applicable for all developments except householder applications
  • Inclusion of on-site compensation on the same register as offsets and credits to support monitoring and accountability
  • That some NSIPs have net gain until their end of life.

The consultation involved 55 questions in total, and we now await a response from Defra, including on next steps.

IEMA’s full response can be found at

Image credit | iStock


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Fifth of UK food firms unprepared for deforestation regulation

One in five UK food businesses are not prepared for EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) coming into force in December, a new survey has uncovered.

16th May 2024

Read more

Vanessa Champion reveals how biophilic design can help you meet your environmental, social and governance goals

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

A hangover from EU legislation, requirements on the need for consideration of nutrient neutrality for developments on many protected sites in England were nearly removed from the planning system in 2023.

2nd April 2024

Read more

The UK’s new biodiversity net gain (BNG) requirements could create 15,000 hectares of woodlands, heath, grasslands, and wetlands and absorb 650,000 tonnes of carbon each year.

13th March 2024

Read more

All major housing developments in England will be required by law to deliver at least a 10% increase in biodiversity under new rules that came into force today.

12th February 2024

Read more

As we approach the 40th anniversary of the Born Free Foundation, co-founder Will Travers OBE tells Chris Seekings how a new approach to conservation is needed to end animal suffering

1st February 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close