From 12 February 2024, Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) becomes mandatory for new planning applications related to major developments governed by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, with some confirmed exemptions. Major developments encompass residential projects featuring 10 or more dwellings or sites exceeding 0.5 hectares in size.

For smaller sites, BNG implementation will undergo an extended transition period, becoming applicable from 2 April 2024. Small sites are defined as follows:

  • Residential developments with 1 to 9 dwellings, or if the number is unknown, a site area less than 0.5 hectares.
  • Commercial developments with a floor space of less than 1,000 square meters or a total site area less than 1 hectare.

Beginning on 12 February, BNG will be a requirement for new planning permission applications, excluding retrospective permission applications, along with specified exemptions and transitional arrangements outlined below.

  • Applications under alternative routes, such as deemed permissions under Section 90 of the TCPA 1990 or permissions granted by a Local Development Order, will not be subject to mandatory BNG at this time. The Government will provide further details in due course.
  • BNG applies exclusively to planning applications submitted on or after 12 February. The transitional arrangements also stipulate that if planning permission was granted prior to 12 February (without BNG requirements), subsequent applications under Section 73 to modify a planning condition will also be exempt from BNG.
  • In the case of planning applications for small site developments during the extended transition period (12 February to 2 April 2024), and if a Section 73 variation is granted after 2 April, the same transitional arrangements will apply, exempting subsequent Section 73 variations from BNG requirements.

If you require further information, or would like to discuss your BNG requirements, contact your local Bloomfields planning team