Defra has set out guidance on how developers can use habitat creation or enhancements to count towards their biodiversity net hain (BNG).

If you’re creating or enhancing habitat as part of your development, you may be able to count this towards your BNG.

You can still do this if the habitat required for your development is to:

  • comply with a statutory obligation or policy, for example green infrastructure, environmental impact assessment (EIA) compensation or sustainable drainage
  • provide river basin management plan (RBMP) mitigation and enhancement measures
  • provide mitigation or compensation for protected species or sites, for example nutrient mitigation

If you’re also providing off-site mitigation and compensation for protected sites and species, this may count towards your BNG. You should do at least 10% of your BNG through other activities, for example, on-site habitat creation and enhancement.

If you’re using off-site units, you need to legally secure these for at least 30 years. You must register them before they can count towards your BNG.

You should not count habitat creation or enhancements towards your BNG if you’re already required to do this for:

  • restocking conditions relating to a tree felling licence or a restocking notice
  • marine licensing
  • remediation under the environmental damage regulations

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