Government to delay implementation of Biodiversity Net Gain

The Government is set to delay the implementation of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) which was meant to become a mandatory component of the planning system in England this November. The Government have as of yet not announced when the new implementation date is, however, it will not be by the end of this year.

This delay follows weeks of uncertainty surrounding the Government’s planned and existing environmental policies, particularly the major U-turn on climate commitments and net zero goals. The current failure to set a timescale for when BNG will be introduced will create even more uncertainty throughout the sector and not only that, it undermines the Government’s commitment to actually deliver BNG and its own credibility as the “Greenest Government Ever”.

Sally Hayns, the CEO of CIEEM commented:

The decision is perplexing given the substantial investment already made by developers, local planning authorities, land managers and ecologists in preparing for the implementation of BNG. Delays in delivering BNG seriously undermine the ability of the Government to meet targets associated with its 25-year environment plan and the local nature recovery strategies.

The Government should be asking ecology professionals, developers, local planning authorities and Natural England to work together and at pace to iron out any remaining barriers to implementation so that BNG can be delivered sooner rather than later.