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 STOKE-ON-TRENT, NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME, STAFFORDSHIRE MOORLANDS, SOUTH CHESHIRE

County nature conservation charity launches web platform to ensure new planning rules

Support nature’s recovery


The county’s leading nature conservation charity is launching a new web platform to help ensure the natural world doesn’t lose out when land is developed.


Under new laws coming into force in January 2024, developers will be required to make sure any habitat for wildlife on their site is in a measurably better state than before their development took place.

The overall ‘biodiversity value’ of a development site must increase by a minimum of 10 per cent under the new rules - called ‘Biodiversity Net Gain’ (BNG) - and if this can’t be achieved within the development site itself, the developer can choose to create or improve habitat on land elsewhere.

To make sure that the new rules lead to the best outcomes for nature in the county, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has developed a web-based tool called Net Gain Staffordshire (www.netgainstaffs.com). The platform is underpinned by the latest ecological data from around the county and will help developers locate the most suitable areas for nature recovery.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Net Gain Development Manager Gigi Hennessey, explained:

“Work is starting in Staffordshire to develop a Local Nature Recovery Strategy, which will set out the long-term priorities for how we can halt and reverse the decline of nature across the county.

“Biodiversity Net Gain will play an important part in these plans, as these new requirements are intended to ensure that developers can contribute to nature recovery by incorporating nature into their developments and fund habitat improvements in the local area.

“Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is keen to ensure that any funds resulting from BNG to improve habitats are spent in the right places, where wildlife will gain the most benefit. We developed Net Gain Staffordshire to support developers, landowners and local authorities in this process, and to make it as simple and transparent as possible.” Cabinet member for environment, infrastructure and climate change at Staffordshire County Council, Simon Tagg, added:

“As a county council, we are committed to enhancing our environment and making Staffordshire more sustainable. “Net Gain Staffordshire will be a fantastic tool for developers, landowners and local authorities by ensuring that any new developments contribute positively to nature recovery by boosting local biodiversity and protecting wildlife habitats.

“Importantly, this new website will help to align the new requirement for Biodiversity Net Gain with the priorities of the Local Nature Recovery Strategy.”

The new platform can be viewed at www.netgainstaffs.com To help landowners and developers understand how this platform works, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is hosting a free online webinar to demonstrate Net Gain Staffordshire on Wednesday 29 November at 12.30pm. Those wishing to attend can register at https://netgainstaffordshire.eventbrite.co.uk

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