Delivering Biodiversity Net Gain in Greater Manchester

What is Biodiversity Net Gain?

Biodiversity Net Gain is an approach to development, such as a new building or construction, that leaves biodiversity in a better state than before. Where a development has an impact on biodiversity, developers will need to provide an increase in appropriate natural habitat and ecological features over and above that being affected. Through Biodiversity Net Gain, officials hope that the current loss of biodiversity through development will be halted and wildlife corridors can be restored.

Biodiversity Net Gain in Greater Manchester

The Greater Manchester Five-Year Environment Plan includes a high-level commitment to supporting the delivery of Biodiversity Net Gain across our city region. As part of proposals being brought forward by the Government’s 25-Year Environment Plan and the Environment Bill, all developments under the Town and Country Planning Act will need to achieve net gain for biodiversity of 10%. This is soon to become mandatory through the forthcoming Environment Act in 2023 – the National Planning Policy Framework also requires net gain to be achieved in a measurable way.

Why are we delivering guidance and support?

Delivery of Biodiversity Net Gain across the Greater Manchester city region is an ambitious aim. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is at the forefront of progressing Biodiversity Net Gain, and central government is keen to work with the GMCA to understand how Biodiversity Net Gain can be implemented practically in accordance with national policy and professional guidance.

Biodiversity Net Gain guidance

As part of our ongoing programme of support we have produced three documents:

GMCA Biodiversity Net Gain Guidance for Greater Manchester (PDF, 1.2MB)

Flow diagram showing roles of a developer, local planning authority and Greater Manchester Ecology Unit in Biodiversity Net Gain within Greater Manchester (PDF, 226KB)

Flow diagram showing the offset process and potential offset providers of Biodiversity Net Gain within Greater Manchester (PDF, 182KB)

Biodiversity Net Gain case studies

In 2018/19, 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.

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

CIEEM definition of Biodiversity Net Gain (CIEEM website, opens in new tab)

Biodiversity net gain. Good practice principles for development. A practical guide - CIEEM/IEMA/CIRIA, 2019 (PDF, 6MB)

Government guidance on how to implement the National Planning Policy Framework and information on net gain (paragraphs 20 to 28)

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