The Importance of green spaces and bio-diversity in new developments

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is an increasingly talked about topic in the property industry but what does it really mean and how is it achieved?

In brief, BNG means approaching a development with the aim of leaving the biodiversity, being the plant and animal life in a given habitat, in a better state once the development is complete, than before the development took place.

Generally speaking, this is achieved through a proactive approach, rather than reactive, so we always instruct a qualified ecologist to initially provide us with an environmental report on a given site before any work takes place.

This helps to establish an overview from the outset of what is living on the site in terms of plants and animals, and how best to make sure their habitat is firstly protected, and where possible enhanced, in order to achieve a net gain.

Working alongside our team of other qualified consultants, our appointed ecologist works to provide an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to establish how best to protect and enhance habitats. We use this information to ensure we can put these measures in place in the design process in a way that means the project is economically viable in order to be delivered.

Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has recently consulted on making BNG a mandatory element for planning applications in England and it is likely to come in to law during 2023, but we have long believed that enhancing a given environment wherever possible is a vital element to a successful development, not only for existing habitats but for new residents too.

Creating specific protected areas and increasing the planting of trees and relevant plants for example helps to provide and enhance environment, not only for plants and animals which may be native to the area, but also providing green space and improved air quality for new residents as a development takes form and place.

If you have a site that you’d like to discuss, we are always interested in hearing from land owners, agents and anyone who knows of something interesting where a suitable development can be created. We generally look for sites of 1 acre or more (with no upper limit) but consider each site on merit so get in touch if you have something you’d like to discuss.

Fees are available to introducers from all walks of life, whether you are property professional or not, for introductions to sites which we are not already aware of and which lead to a successful completion.

For more information or if you have a specific opportunity that you’d like to discuss with us, please contact leon@feargroup.com

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