Defra Launch Consultation on Biodiversity Net Gain Metric

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has launched a consultation on the metric system that will be used to measure the delivery of mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain for new developments in England.

The biodiversity metric is a tool that scores different habitat types based on their relative value to wildlife. The metric’s purpose is to calculate and measure biodiversity losses and gains for developments under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Planning Act 2008 for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.

This consultation proposes that the statutory metric (version 4.0) will be based on updates to biodiversity metric 3.1 and the small sites metric, published by Natural England last year, with updates addressing the following:

  • highlighting units required to meet the required percentage of net gain. This could help steer users to suitable compensation projects
  • adjustments to the spatial risk multiplier and wider values
  • changes to guidance for use alongside the calculation tools

There is also an opportunity to provide comments and suggestions on plans for longer-term improvements to the biodiversity metric.

The consultation closes on 27th September. Responses will be used to inform updates to the statutory metric.