The rules were originally meant to come into effect in January 2024, but are now facing delays of at least one month.

The Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) framework can be broken down into six statutory instruments (SIs) which were supposed to come into effect in January this year but are now facing delays of at least a month, much to the dismay of environmental groups. The delays were a result of the secondary legislation arriving to parliament late.

Two of the SIs have already been approved by a delegation legislation committee, including the regulation legally requiring developers to deliver a BNG of 10 per cent on their projects, ensuring all new projects deliver positive environmental results such as habitat protection and restoration, and improved quality of nature. This is measured using Defra’s biodiversity metric.

Presently, the BNG framework affects major developers, small sites from April 2024, nationally significant infrastructure projects from November 2025, land managers and local planning authorities. It is not yet clear how this moth’s delays will impact the future rollout of BNG regulations.

Angus Walker, partner at law firm BDB Pitmans, said: “Today’s report that BNG rules have once again been delayed is really quite frustrating, particularly for developers who need clear and consistent regulations in order to effectively plan projects.  

“The government has been clear that its goal is for a BNG market to evolve,” adds Angus. “Without this market, BNG legislation will make developers’ work unnecessarily challenging, yet every delay in bringing the rules into force means more time where BNG land providers and brokers are without an income, disincentivising investment in what could be a promising new income source for landowners. 

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