Pioneering an ahead-of-its-time biodiversity net gain solution for the development industry
Delivering a 10% net gain in biodiversity during development will soon become law in England. However, a decade ago few developers were cost-effectively mitigating biodiversity loss and measuring the results. This project was one of the first to successfully secure a consent using biodiversity offsetting.
Planning had been refused for these 47 new homes on ecological grounds. The loss of species-rich, unimproved grassland and the impact on common lizard habitat was ruled to be too great. We overturned the refusal by identifying a better habitat site and negotiating favourable terms to secure the relevant interest using a novel set of legal agreements - all without the need for a broker.
This pioneering solution pooled our knowledge of ecological objectives, the land market knowledge and contractual expertise to secure the right type of land interest and a long-term management structure.
It was the first biodiversity offsetting scheme of its kind in the UK, utilising what was then a new mechanism for quantifying the loss of biodiversity on a site and the possible gain from its mitigation.