What is biodiversity offsetting?
Biodiversity offsetting is where conservation activities deliver biodiversity benefits in compensation for biodiversity loss, in a measurable way. It has the potential to deliver effective, widespread biodiversity gain for the natural environment in a way which is easy to use for developers. A defined methodology is used to calculate how many ‘biodiversity units’ need to be paid by a development to offset their biodiversity loss. Offset providers then offer for sale conservation projects that deliver biodiversity units which a developer can buy.
The Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull Biodiversity Offsetting Pilot
The Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull sub-region was chosen as one of the 2012-2014 six national pilot areas to trial biodiversity offsetting. Following the success of this pilot all the Local Planning Authorities within the sub-region agreed to continue with offsetting on all Minor and Major applications.
A Biodiversity Impact Assessment calculator (v19.0) in excel format has been designed to help measure the habitat value gain or loss of a development plus a Guidance document on how to complete it. Other supporting information includes Evidence Papers supporting the Guidance document and Biodiversity Offsetting Management Plan Guidance.
Developers in pilot areas required to provide compensation for biodiversity loss under planning policy can choose to do so through biodiversity offsetting.
The Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull sub-region has some great wildlife areas, but these are often quite fragmented. Biodiversity offsetting provides a great opportunity to explore opportunities for joining up these areas and enhancing the overall biodiversity of the region’s natural environment.
The map shows the area covered by the Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull pilot.
Defra has produced guidance for the pilot areas on how a biodiversity offsetting scheme could operate. The Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull Biodiversity Offsetting Pilot has adopted these guidelines and modified them into a local biodiversity offsetting strategy to suit our sub-region’s particular requirements.
The Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull biodiversity offsetting is an important part in the delivery of the sub-regional Green Infrastructure Strategy and is an evidence document for all Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Core Strategies.
We are looking for landowners who would like to enter 30 year agreements to provide biodiversity enhancements to compensate for development losses work. If you would like to involved please get in touch:
Telephone: 01926 418060
Post: Warwickshire County Council, Heritage and Culture, Ecology Services, Communities, Barrack Street, PO Box 43, CV34 4SX.
Also, you can visit Defra’s biodiversity offsetting webpages for lots more information on biodiversity offsetting, including what is happening in the other national pilots.