Biodiversity Impact calculation is a way of ensuring that develop has a positive impact on biodiversity. Biodiversity ‘units’ pertaining to a potential scheme are determined, and measures can then be taken as necessary to ensure a positive net number of units are achieved overall. Where appropriate, biodiversity offsetting is an option available to developers to fulfil their obligations under the planning system’s mitigation hierarchy.
HDA is at the forefront of biodiversity impact calculation, particularly as application of the technique continues to develop, and new offsetting metric and guidance are introduced by Natural England.
At Grove near Wantage in Oxfordshire, HDA carried out calculations for a proposed housing scheme which included measures to enable a positive gain for biodiversity. In broad terms the gain to biodiversity was equivalent to conversion of approximately 2.5ha of intensive arable farmland into meadow grassland.
The Monks Farm site is now part of a Strategic Housing Site within the Council’s Five Year Housing Land Supply Statement. HDA provided landscape, ecology and arboricultural support both for the allocation submission and for the outline planning application that followed. Our combined influence led to the development of a Green Infrastructure Strategy for the …