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Biodiversity Net Gain

Delivering Biodiversity Net Gain in Greater Manchester

What is Biodiversity Net Gain?

Biodiversity net gain (BNG) is a way of creating and improving natural habitats. BNG makes sure development has a measurably positive impact (‘net gain’) on biodiversity, compared to what was there beforehand.  

You will need to understand the requirements of BNG in Greater Manchester if you are

  • A developer 
  • A local planning authority 
  • A land manager wanting to sell in the BNG market 

In England, BNG is mandatory from 12 February 2024 under Schedule 7A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as inserted by Schedule 14 of the Environment Act 2021). Developers must deliver a BNG of 10%. This means development will result in more or better quality natural habitat than there was before the development took place. 

Biodiversity Net Gain in Greater Manchester

We have been working locally with partners to prepare for BNG and establish new processes for planning reviews and determinations to ensure an efficient planning process.

To support this, we have detailed guidance to provide greater clarity on how BNG will work within Greater Manchester, provide a consistent framework around planning applications, and help applicants understand submission requirements

GMCA Biodiversity Net Gain Guidance for Greater Manchester (PDF, 2.36MB)

Off-Site Biodiversity Net Gain 

As well as ensuring an efficient planning process, we have been working to prepare for and maximise the opportunities BNG will create for habitat restoration outside development sites, through off-site BNG.

The Environment Partnership (TEP) was commissioned by Greater Manchester Combined Authority to undertake a scoping study for the delivery of off-site Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) in Greater Manchester. The key outputs from the scoping study are set out in the report below, and include:

  • Scoping study and gap analysis
  • map identifying key stages involved in delivering/supporting the delivery of sites
  • Timelines including key milestones
  • Co-ordinated programme of activities to include a range of technical and capacity support
  • Options to support delivery and key leads identified

Offsite Scoping Study - December 2021 (PDF, 1.3MB)

Biodiversity Net Gain case studies

The Greater Manchester Natural Capital Group worked with developers to retrospectively test Defra’s biodiversity metric on a number of development schemes, in order to begin to understand its implications for development and the natural environment in the city-region. Whilst the metric has subsequently been updated, the following case-studies provide useful summaries of our findings and lesson learned. The pilots were submitted by developers, and the Local Planning Authorities do not necessarily endorse the findings but are happy for this work to be shared.

Hopwood Hall rewetting case study (PDF, 501KB)

Testing the Biodiversity Net Gain Metric (PDF, 904KB)

Land at Hilton Lane, Salford, and Biodiversity Net Gain - Bellway Homes Case Study (PDF, 1.7MB)

Symmetry Park, Wigan, and Biodiversity Net Gain - DB SYMMETRY Ltd Case Study (PDF, 1.7MB)

Biodiversity New Gain webinar

On Wednesday 10 February 2021, GMCA and CIEEM hosted a Biodiversity New Gain webinar to discuss how Greater Manchester could implement Biodiversity Net Gain across the city region:

Biodiversity Net Gain webinar session (YouTube, opens in new tab)

The slides from the webinar can be found below.

Biodiversity New Gain webinar PowerPoint slides (PDF, 2.9MB)

An FAQ document has been produced which includes questions and answers from the webinar

Biodiversity New Gain webinar FAQ document (PDF, 284KB)

Further information

If you have any follow-up queries or require additional information about delivery of Biodiversity Net Gain in Greater Manchester, please get in touch with the following:

Useful links

GOV.UK guidance on Biodiversity Net Gain (external website)