Essentially, biodiversity offsetting requires the completion of a biodiversity offsetting calculation which scores the biodiversity value of a site both before and after development. Its aim is to encourage no net loss, or a small net gain in biodiversity, as well as to encourage avoidance of adverse impacts to high value habitats wherever possible.
Biodiversity offsetting was trialled in a small number of counties in England in recent years in order to establish whether this could be a successful method of quantitatively analysing the ecological impact of a development.
Warwickshire was one of the trial counties, and has since adopted a ‘no net loss’ biodiversity policy into all of its district and borough local plans. As Ecolocation are based in Warwickshire, we have had a lot of involvement in the undertaking of such assessments and plenty of practice finding the best solutions for our clients.
Biodiversity offsetting is also a tool that is used locally by Lichfield District Council as well as Birmingham City Council, where we have always managed to employ this successfully to help gain planning permission for our clients. It is also potentially being rolled out at a national level over the next couple of years and is likely to become a more regular issue that developers come up against, but we are here to help.
Ecolocation can provide advice and guidance including input into design schemes in order to minimise the biodiversity loss at the site and, in turn, to comply with local planning policies and secure planning permission.