'Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is a topic within the planning process that is creating a buzz!' explains Claire Alers-Hankey, Partner and Planning Consultant with Greenslade Taylor Hunt.  The Environment Bill requires all development to provide a BNG of at least 10% to offset any harm to local wildlife generated by a development. This is great for wildlife but also presents an opportunity for landowners that can offer up land for BNG offsetting. Many development sites will struggle to provide the level required for BNG on site, and it is expected that developers may be prepared to pay landowners for the use of land to locate BNG offsetting, and also for the maintenance of that land over a minimum 30 year period.
 
In a similar vein, phosphates are generating significant disruption to the planning process for sites within the catchment area of the Somerset Levels & Moors (a wide area extending from Wells and Chard and Wiveliscombe).  Some developments can increase the phosphate levels in an area, e.g. residential development.  Claire notes that 'Natural England has identified a problem where any development located within the Somerset Levels & Moors catchment basin has potential to increase the phosphate levels in a number of legally protected habitats, which is threatening sensitive ecosystems.  As such, developers are now having to look at a number of ways in which phosphate levels can be mitigated. This includes using land third party land elsewhere within the catchment area to provide phosphate mitigation measures.'
 
In addition to BNG and phosphates offsetting is Sustainable Alternative Natural Greenspaces (SANGS).  This relates to development in close proximity to sensitive environmental sites, for example development in and around Exeter these are the River Exe, East Devon Heaths Natura 2000 and RAMSAR sites.
 
GTH has unrivalled access to a number of developers seeking land for BNG, phosphate (nutrients) and SANGS offsetting. The type of land that may be suitable is that which is not suited to development and where the land can be put aside for such purposes on a long term basis, either freehold sales or long-term leases with management provisions.  
 
If you have land available, please get in touch and we can advise on the potential opportunities.  Interested parties should contact Claire Alers-Hankey (01823 334466), James Wotton (01392 908777) or Philip Hodgkin (01460 238383).