IEMA responds to Defra biodiversity net gain for planning consultation

26th May 2022

Web p8 IEMA responds to Defra biodiversity net gain for planning consultation i Stock 485266516

Related Topics



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

Transform articles

‘Eco-anxiety’ under the spotlight at IEMA Connect 2023

Turning ‘eco-anxiety into eco-action’ was discussed at IEMA Connect 2023 this morning, providing key research and tips to help sustainability professionals deal with feelings of environmental despair.

21st September 2023

Read more

A lack of expert staff at environmental organisations is undermining the UK’s government’s net zero and nature commitments, new research by the trade union Prospect has uncovered.

16th August 2023

Read more

Placing a monetary value on nature remains controversial, with some arguing that it is impossible to price ecosystem services in a way that adequately protects and enhances biodiversity. Paula DiPerna tells Chris Seekings why that is not the case

3rd August 2023

Read more

A one-day conference, organised by community interest company Climate Action North, is showcasing some of the extensive work taking place to restore and conserve the seas and oceans.

1st August 2023

Read more

Biodiversity net gain (BNG) is development that leaves biodiversity in a better state than before.

1st August 2023

Read more

An area equivalent to one-and-a-half times the size of Wales needs to be protected for nature if the UK is to achieve its ’30 by 30’ biodiversity targets, a Lords select committee has warned.

27th July 2023

Read more

The European Parliament yesterday voted in favour of a new Nature Restoration Law, although green groups have argued that it is substantially weaker than the European Commission’s original proposal.

13th July 2023

Read more

Media enquires

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

Find an expert