Biodiversity Impact Assessment in West Berkshire – biodiversity units valued at £252 million

West Berkshire Council is currently preparing a new Local Plan and, as part of that process, a number of potential development sites have been identified.  To be able to make decisions about where development is best located, West Berkshire Council requires information about the potential impacts of developing these sites. One example of this is securing measurable net gains for biodiversity from development in West Berkshire.

A recent analysis by TVERC of Local Plan sites in West Berkshire showed that the value of biodiversity units on those sites is between £50 million and £252 million.  Using the Biodiversity Impact Assessment Calculator developed by TVERC, we calculated the minimum and maximum number of biodiversity units for 276 Local Plan sites in West Berkshire.  There are over 2,000 hectares of habitat on these sites, generating between 5,599 and 16,797 biodiversity units.  Based on per-unit costs published by DEFRA in the biodiversity net gain consultation document, these would be worth between £50 million and £252 million.

This assessment was carried out for all submitted sites, and none of these sites have been allocated or provisionally allocated for potential development.  West Berkshire will use the analysis prepared by TVERC to help decide which sites will deliver sustainable development and which will not.  As such, the final total will decrease accordingly.

For more information on this analysis, please contact West Berkshire’s Local Plan team or TVERC.

Posted: September 17, 2019