William Eichler 17 May 2024

Auditors raise doubts over biodiversity enforcement

Auditors raise doubts over biodiversity enforcement  image
Image: Lois GoBe / Shutterstock.com.

Auditors have questioned whether local authorities will be able to effectively ensure compliance and enforcement of biodiversity net gain (BNG).

A new report into statutory BNG by the National Audit Office (NAO) has flagged ‘significant risks’ to the policy’s effectiveness.

BNG was brought into effect in February this year. It requires all new building projects to achieve a 10% net gain in biodiversity or habitat.

Developers can either deliver new habitat on-site, off-site, or by purchasing credits through a new private market.

Local authorities manage many aspects of BNG through the planning process, including ensuring compliance and enforcement.

However, the NAO’s report warns there is ‘doubt about whether local authorities will be able to discharge these duties effectively.’

It also said it was ‘not clear’ whether Defra will have ‘sufficiently granular monitoring data to assess policy performance.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, environment spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGA) said: ‘It is important that councils are properly funded and that the government quickly put in place measures to ensure the land is available for BNG off-site, for instance by allowing BNG on council-owned land in the short-term.

‘We want to work with government to ensure that councils have the right tools and resources to implement biodiversity net gain as effectively as possible.’

A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said: 'We have carefully considered the recommendations of the report and they will inform our approach as we continue to work with developers, land managers and local authorities to ensure the smooth implementation of Biodiversity net gain which strikes the right balance and delivers positive outcomes for nature.'

Check out: Getting ready for Biodiversity Net Gain.

Planning London under Labour image

Planning London under Labour

Grant Leggett, Executive Director and Head of Boyer’s London planning team, looks at the impact of a future Labour government on planning in London.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Building, Property Information and Compliance Manager

City of York Council
£47,760 to £54,463
We are looking for a motivated manager with experience of leading diverse and challenging teams. North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Applications Support Analyst

West Northamptonshire Council
£33,369 - £36,163
Fixed Term Contract until March 2025 (possibility to extend) Join our dynamic team as a 2nd/3rd Line Applications Support Analyst and play a pivotal role in supporting our systems and applications. This second-line position involves handling technical an Northampton
Recuriter: West Northamptonshire Council

Assistant Director for Education

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Assistant Director for EducationPermanent, Full Time£97,874 Per AnnumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Technician NRSWA Inspector

Derbyshire County Council
£27,507 - £29,418 per annum
Within the Highways Directorate we are looking for an enthusiastic, customer focused and experienced person to join the Service Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Strategic Manager SEND

Stoke-on-Trent City Council
£70,999 - £74,630
Want to feel proud of your achievements every day? Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Recuriter: Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Linkedin Banner

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.