24 August 2023

Developers get ready for BNG – Sophie Smith quoted in Property Week

Planning Associate, Sophie Smith, has been quoted in Property Week’s latest piece addressing biodiversity net gain (BNG) and the November deadline for developers.

From November, developers in England will have to ensure any projects they undertake produce a BNG of at least 10% - and put a plan in place to ensure the gain is maintained for 30 years or more.

Property Week highlighted that some developers will already have experience dealing with this as some councils have implemented such policies in local plans. However, for many others, BNG will be entirely new.

Sophie Smith shared her thoughts on the new guidance acknowledging that it does seem to indicate that the Government is 'moving in the right direction’ to meet the November target but notes that there are still significant gaps in the regulation and that time is running out.

She goes on to comment "There are still fairly material points that remain to be dealt with via secondary legislation, particularly, for example, in relation to outline schemes or phased developments."

"Where this information is not clear and local planning authorities are not prepared in advance for the requirements, this will inevitably lead to confusion in the planning system from all sides and delays to applications being progressed."

"This will particularly be the case if the November target remains and the legislation is published fairly last minute."

This article was first published in Property Week on 24 August 2023 and is available to read in full here, behind their paywall.

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