Detailed legislation needed for BNG in response to NPPF reforms following Labour victory

Detailed legislation needed for BNG in response to NPPF reforms following Labour victory

Leading bio-diversity net gain (BNG) expert and chief executive of CSX, Andy Howard, has called on the new Labour Government to put the environment at the heart of its plans to get Britain building again.

As the dust begins to settle following the landslide Labour victory in this month’s General Election, the new Chancellor, Rachel Reeves has announced plans to amend the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and turbo-charge the economy by making it easier for new homes and infrastructure to be built.

The growing challenge of NIMBYism up and down the country means radical change is needed but tackling local opposition and delivering the monumental target of 300,000 homes per year, while meeting climate reduction targets and hitting BNG requirements is going to be the latest challenge for the built environment.

While Labour will take powers away from local councils on national infrastructure projects as well as introduce a greater role for regional Mayors to speed up the planning process, they have still committed to sensitive development that respects and enhances the environment. Labour has made no mention of repealing BNG legislation so developers should assume it is here to stay.

BNG has the potential to fundamentally improve how the built environment will transform and enhance communities across the UK. The built environment is responsible for a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions, often involves habitat and land use change when new developments are taking place, and therefore a clear commitment from Government is needed to ensure developers can continue to plan for BNG on sites across the UK.

Andy Howard of CSX said: “This new Government’s commitment to get Britain building again must coincide with a renewed commitment to restore, protect and diversify the environment. BNG has a vital role to play in shaping the future impacts of built development across the UK, providing the natural places, green landscaping and nature recovery that helps shapes places and enhances wildlife habitats.

For example, the current BNG guidance allows for off-site units to come from projects within either the Local Planning Authority Boundary OR the National Character Area.  There is however different application of this guidance across the country, with only one of those area boundaries being applied in some instances.  Clarification from the new Government that it is indeed either LPA or NCA boundaries that can be used will provide significant flexibility to unlocking the benefits of BNG in delivering new developments.

We look forward to working with the Labour Government and developers to deliver BNG across the country.”

As policies take shape, and Britain gets building, it will be imperative for BNG to remain present in discussions between parliament, local authorities, industry leaders, developers, and experts. CSX and their team of experts stand ready to help politicians and industry leaders to refine the detail of how to implement BNG and hold constructive conversations which utilises their expertise and data to further provide efficient and effective solutions in the management of BNG requirements and carbon offsetting.

Datasets, accumulated by CSX, will be crucial in making sure processes and guidance is accurately and reliability accounted for in the quality of carbon offsetting for future builds and changes to the landscape.

Read more about CSX’s work on biodiversity at

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BDC 319 : Aug 2024