Skip to additional navigation Skip to content

RBC continues to support biodiversity for new developments and protect habitats for wildlife

Last updated: 7/3/2024

Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) is delivering further plans in line with Government legalisation helping to protect habitats for wildlife in new developments and nature recovery.

New major development in Rushcliffe is now required to deliver a 10% biodiversity net gain (BNG) in line with requirements of the Environment Act. From April 2024 it will apply for all developments with some exemptions such as house extensions and some self-build properties.

BNG is an important tool that will help to create new habitats and enhance existing environments with the aim of leaving them in a measurably better state than they were before the new development.

RBC planning and ecology officers are working together to ensure approved applications in Rushcliffe include improvements that qualify for BNG and enhance the Borough’s nature areas, such as:

  • woodlands
  • trees
  • meadows and flower rich grasslands
  • shrubs and scrub
  • ponds and wetlands
  • hedgerows
  • riverbanks.

Benefits of BNG also include improved mental health and wellbeing by enhancing existing greenspaces, creating more attractive places for residents to enjoy and better connecting and enhancing green and wetland habitats.

It will also ensure sustainable and long-term financial solutions for the management of habitats and help to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Approved planning applicants must supply, prior to works starting, an updated metric detailing all habitats to be maintained, enhanced, or created on the site and supported by a plan setting out how they will be established and maintained.

RBC’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing Cllr Roger Upton said: “We’re committed to our biodiversity duty for the Borough and support these rules introduced by Government that will ensure new developments will provide safe habitats and boost nature and wildlife.  

“It’s a vital way of contributing to the recovery of nature whilst developing land and our major planning applications in the Borough will be assessed by our ecology officers and planning officers.

“These regulations also align with the great work we’re already doing as we work towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030 outlined in our Climate Change Strategy.

“Some of our latest ecological initiatives include our annual free tree scheme, Summer Pollinator scheme, reed removal project along Grantham canal funded by UKSPF and more.

“Rushcliffe Country Park and Sharphill Wood in Edwalton have also been awarded as the UK’s best green spaces and recognised for their excellent conservation work and protecting wildlife.

“In December last year we unanimously passed a Full Council motion to ensure at least 50 per cent of homes in new developments in the Borough will now include “swift bricks” to encourage these endangered birds to nest in new communities.

“This is in addition to any biodiversity mitigation or enhancements normally requested through the planning process and actions such as this enforce our goals to help make the Borough Carbon Clever.”

Further details on the new BNG guidance are available on the RBC website.

Join Biodiversity Net Gain Breakfast Seminar on March 12

Women in Planning East Midlands is hosting a free Breakfast Seminar on Tuesday March 12 from 8.30am to 11am on the 6th floor at BWB Offices, Waterfront House, Nottingham NG2 3BJ, which focusses on the lifecycle of BNG in the planning system.

It’s set to be a fantastic event with a number of speakers that are experts in the field, including:

  • BWB Consulting Principal Ecologist Sarah Stone, who will discuss how BNG is calculated at the start of the process.
  • RBC’s Senior Ecology Officer Paul Phillips will discuss how BNG is dealt with during the determination of a planning application.
  • Environment Bank Principal Planner Lloyd Collins will delve into the off-site credits process.

Refreshments are provided at the event and tickets can be booked through the Women in Planning UK website.