BNG Guidance Note

Closed 4 Dec 2023

Opened 6 Nov 2023


Biodiversity Net Gain (from here on referred to as BNG) is an approach to development, and/or land management, that aims to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state than it was beforehand. It is intended to deliver measurable improvements for biodiversity by creating or enhancing habitats in association with development. A national mandatory BNG requirement is currently expected to come into effect from January 2024.

Whilst the requirement to demonstrate and deliver at least 10% BNG and the core processes involved in doing so are set nationally, there are limited areas where the requirement can be tailored to local circumstances.

Somerset Council has produced a draft BNG Guidance Note for public consultation which provides technical guidance and advice on calculating and delivering BNG in a Somerset context. It aims to ensure a consistent and efficient approach aligned to local policy context, by making clear the requirements and processes in Somerset.

We want to hear from you: planning applicants, developers, planning agents, ecologists, landowners, land managers, land agents, site promoters, nature conservation bodies and other technical stakeholders as well as the general public. We want to know if our approaches for dealing with BNG through the planning process, tailoring BNG to the Somerset context, enabling off-site solutions and monitoring delivery are appropriate, workable and reasonable.

Links to the Draft Guidance Note and accompanying documents can be found below. Links to specific chapters of the guidance note are also linked within the survey at appropriate points.

What happens next

We are now reviewing responses to the consultation. Comments received will be taken into account as the final version of the BNG Guidance Note is developed and our processes are evolved to handle implementation of national mandatory BNG from January 2024.