Following a seminar in May 2023, where a team from EMEC met with representatives from golf clubs in Leicestershire and Rutland, to explain BNG funding opportunities and what it might mean for golf clubs, Ben Jones gives an update on proceedings following the Governments announcement to delay BNG legislation until January 2024.
Following on from our attendance at the Greener Golf Conference 2022, EMEC Ecology have been working with the group to explore options for securing funding for golf clubs through Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG). This legislation, mandated by the Environment Act 2021, allows landowners to quantify biodiversity on their site and trade it with developers for the purpose of off-setting developments and ensuring all new construction increases biodiversity by 10%.
Although the requirement is set out in the Environment Act 2021, the legislation was not due to be enforced until November 2023. However, through recent guidance (link below) the government has set out a revised timeline for implementation of BNG on large sites to begin in January 2024.
Link to Government Guidance – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/biodiversity-net-gain-moves-step-closer-with-timetable-set-out
In some respects, the delay in making BNG a statutory requirement could be seen as frustrating and some in the conservation sector have been vocal with their criticism of governments delaying implementation of the policy.
However, some Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) and private companies looking to provide off-setting have supported the decision to delay. These voices have emphasized the significant shift this legislation represents for the development and planning sectors and the importance of getting the details right.
Despite these recent changes and the valid points made on either side of the debate, EMECs position for Golf Clubs and other landowners remains the same as communicated in our well attended BNG Seminar for Greener Golf in May.
Getting a Biodiversity Baseline assessment of your site ensures that any positive impacts the club has on biodiversity are captured, this puts clubs in a better position should they look to explore generating income through BNG in future.
For more information on EMEC Ecology and contact details for Biodiversity Baseline Assessments, please contact us here.