Environment Act 2021 Implementation Period

Environment Act 2021


Not long now until the 2-year implementation period for the Environment Act 2021 is up and a 10% Biodiversity Net Gain will be mandatory on the majority of development sites. That said, can we say the implementation period is ending around now? Most local authorities are requesting schemes demonstrate a 10% net gain in biodiversity ahead of November. With the delay we are seeing in the determination of planning applications, some (or most, depending on your location) applications being submitted now won’t receive determination until after November 2023.

Local authorities are generally taking a view that this will be the date when determined applications will require a 10% gain. Some sites may be exempt for the requirement, during a recent consultation response for Defra exemptions were detailed to include sites which are impacting habitats below 25m2, or 5 linear meter of hedgerow, householder applications and where works are being undertaken to specifically improve biodiversity, these details will be followed up in secondary legislation which we are yet to see. The Environment Act 2021 mandate is creeping up quickly, and it will be interesting to see if any noise is made about this at the UKREIIF conference in Leeds later this month that E3P will be attending. It’s a hot topic for developers and was interesting that it wasn’t mentioned in the CIH conference in 2022. Everyone certainly wants to talk to our ecology team about this now. Things around BNG can be uncertain, and vary between authorities, and over time and we are hoping to see this settle after November 2023.

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