National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) consultation draft

The Government has released the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) consultation draft which sets out the planning policies for England and how these should be applied:

Draft revised National Planning Policy Framework.pdf

There is much to welcome within these proposals, which significantly strengthen the need to deliver net gain thereby demonstrating a commitment to minimising the impacts of development to biodiversity in this country.

Our Chairman, David Hill says:

“At last biodiversity is to be given the treatment it deserves in the planning system. Planning Authorities are now expected to deliver their duties for biodiversity and should now freely promote mechanisms for delivering net gain. Environment Bank schemes for offsetting residual impacts provide a one-stop-shop for doing this. Much better biodiversity conservation will therefore be mainstreamed through planning and will lead to far better outcomes than has been the case until now. It will give clarity to developers, will save time, and will provide a level playing field across the country, something developers have told us they welcome.”

For more information about how biodiversity accounting and offsetting can help deliver this at a plan or site level please call Louise on 07710 192295 or Katie on 07913 713412. You can also contact us on

The following policies relate to conserving and enhancing biodiversity:

“168. Planning policies and decisions should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by: …

d) minimising impacts and providing net gains for biodiversity, including by establishing coherent ecological networks that are more resilient to current and future pressures;

172. To protect and enhance biodiversity and geodiversity, plans should: … b) promote the conservation, restoration and re-creation of priority habitats, ecological networks and the protection and recovery of priority species; and identify and pursue opportunities for securing measurable net gains for biodiversity.

173. When determining planning applications, local planning authorities should apply the following principles: …

a) if significant harm to biodiversity resulting from a development cannot be avoided (through locating on an alternative site with less harmful impacts), adequately mitigated, or, as a last resort, compensated for, then planning permission should be refused;”

To deliver net gain Environment Bank provides:

Assessment: Using Government approved metric, our impact calculator and a net gain report

Conservation Credits: Purchased by developers to make projects net gain compliant supported by legal agreements

Habitat Banks: Set up with conservation bodies, farmers and landowners supported by Conservation Bank Agreements

Biodiversity benefits: Contributing to ecological networks, spatial plans, supported by Biodiversity Net Gain Management Plans.

Click here to respond in support of inclusion of the net gain requirement in planning policy.