Mandatory biodiversity net gain (BNG), as set out in the Environment Act, is likely to become law in winter 2023/24. It means that most developments will have to demonstrate that they are able to enhance wildlife on-site. If this cannot be done on-site, the developer will be required to provide off-site biodiversity improvements, by paying for off-site biodiversity net gain units. The biodiversity net gains will be secured through the planning system and a development will have to show how the net gains will be achieved to obtain planning permission.
The Gloucestershire Nature + Climate Fund (GNCF) is a non-profit organisation established to support Landowners, Developers and Local Planning Authorities through the biodiversity net gain process.
The GNCF has been established by the Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership and the GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership. The GLNP is backed by Gloucestershire’s Local Authorities who fund and partner the initiative, as well as around 30 nature-based bodies from the county. The GNCF operating principles will ensure that the gold standard in offsite biodiversity net gain is met. The GNCF will administer funds from BNG sales to support the Joint Central Plan Green Infrastructure Strategy, the Local Nature Recovery Strategy, enable improvement of green spaces within Gloucestershire’s urban centres and restore nature at a larger scale in rural areas.
Gloucestershire’s natural environment provides the local economy with benefits of half a billion pounds per year in free services such as the reduction of flooding, clean drinking water, reduced air pollution and recreation. The GNCF will keep these benefits in Gloucestershire where they contribute to the local economy and the wellbeing of residents.
 Environment Agency Natural Capital Register and Account Tool V.1 (2021)
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