On 9 November, the Environment Act 2021 was approved after being first introduced to Parliament in January 2020 to address environmental protection and the delivery of the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan. The Act will clean up the country’s air, restore natural habitats, increase biodiversity, reduce waste and make better use of our resources.
This webinar jointly organised by RTPI South West and RTPI London will give a whistle stop tour of the Act with a particular focus on Biodiversity Net Gain. We will highlight the key components of the Act and what this means for planners; plus a focused review of the British Standards for Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and what may be in store for secondary legislation. The webinar will further discuss the problems and practical solutions with BNG and how this will work alongside outline planning permissions. The webinar will then consider this all in practice with examples of how BNG has been approached by local planning authorities and developers plus how this is currently being delivered on the ground using a local example.
- The Environment Act 2021 – what’s in it?
This talk will introduce to you to the contents of the Environment Act 2021 to make it a little easier to establish which of the 264 pages may be relevant to local authorities but particularly planners.
Cathryn Tracy at Burges Salmon
- BNG Update
Either a look at the British Standard for Biodiversity Net Gain or an update on the secondary regulations (consultation publication depending).
Nick White at Natural England
- The BNG Condition – The Problems & Solutions (15mins)
- How will the BNG Condition work with outline planning permissions and what is the role of planning obligations including interacting the BNG Condition with phased schemes.
- An overview of the legal effect of a “variation” under Section 73 and how to ensure that BNG is secured after the Section 73 permission has been granted.
- Also considerations of how to make sure that planning obligations are robust both before and after Section 73 permission
Tom Graham, Barrister and author of forthcoming book on the Environment Act 2021
- BNG and Practical Delivery
A review of some practical examples from a range of development types and how BNG was approached in the planning and delivery of these including:
- Designing GI into large sites, logistics, distribution and data centres and what BNG credits this attracts; the balance of on-site and off-site options
- Reviewing long programmes of work and looking at phasing and banking habitat credits so the later phases don’t just run out of land/options.
- Banking for construction phase impacts on very large infrastructure and looking at temporary habitats within the phasing of works to maximise the on-site delivery where this is practical and appropriate
- BNG delivery through habitat banking and how this ties in with the National Nature Recovery Network and the local mapping of this that is now underway.
- How BNG ties in with carbon and wider natural capital benefits (nature-based solutions).
Mike Barker, Head of Ecology at RPS
- A delivery perspective – the case of Plymouth-
- How you consider BNG from site acquisition through to masterplanning
- How you can secure planning consent with BNG conditions
- How you ensure developers actually deliver BNG improvements
Paul Britton at Homes England