Get in Touch Menu

Biodiversity off-setting consultation

04 November 2013

DEFRA has published a green paper on biodiversity offsetting in England and launched a consultation on the government’s proposals. The consultation closes on 7 November 2013.

Biodiversity offsetting is to be used as part of the planning process for approval of developments. Subject to certain conditions, it allows a developer to damage the environmental value of a site (where this damage cannot be avoided), provided it pays to restore another site that has the potential to have at least the same environmental quality as the damaged site.

Biodiversity offsetting is already sometimes used in limited circumstances in the UK. DEFRA is currently piloting such schemes with local planning authorities in six areas of England and they are now consulting on proposals for wider use.

The scheme would follow the mitigation hierarchy which is already embedded in planning policy, and which requires environmental damage to be dealt with in the following order:

  • Avoid harm
  • Where harm is unavoidable, mitigate the impact
  • Compensate for any residual impact

The consultation covers various issues including how offsetting schemes should be funded, how they should be applied and whether management agreements and an offset register are required.

Disclaimer: All legal information is correct at the time of publication but please be aware that laws may change over time. This article contains general legal information but should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please seek professional legal advice about your specific situation - contact us; we’d be delighted to help.
Alasdair Garbutt LLB (Hons)
View profile
Alasdair Garbutt
Related services
Share this article
Resources to help

Related articles

Willans plays role in Winchcombe Arts and Community Hub

Real estate

Our real estate team has advised a local charity on its purchase of Winchcombe Methodist Church as part of their plan to open a brand-new arts, youth and community hub.…


Charity land: A widening of the pool

Real estate

We previously reported on the new Charities Act 2022. The first wave of provisions in relation to charity land are now in force, with more expected to be in force…

Charlotte Cowdell BA (Hons), LLB
Associate, solicitor

RAAC: How the concrete crumbles

Real estate

The discovery of failing reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in schools just before the beginning of term certainly caught the attention of the public and the media. The problem of…

Emma Thompson LLB (Hons)
Associate, solicitor
Contact us