Biodiversity Impact Assessments in Wokingham – biodiversity units valued at £290 million

Wokingham Borough Council is currently preparing a new Local Plan and as part of that process, a number of proposed development sites have been identified. To be able to make decisions about where development is best located, Wokingham Borough 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 Wokingham.

A recent analysis by TVERC of Local Plan sites in Wokingham showed that the value of biodiversity units on those sites is between £59 million and £290 million.  Using the Biodiversity Impact Assessment Calculator developed by TVERC, we calculated the minimum and maximum number of biodiversity units for 311 Local Plan sites in Wokingham.  There are over 2,500 hectares of habitat on these sites, generating between 6, 444 and 19,332 biodiversity units.  Based on per-unit costs published by DEFRA in the biodiversity net gain consultation document, these would be worth between £59 million and £290 million.

This assessment was carried out for all submitted sites, and none of these sites have been allocated or provisionally allocated.  Wokingham Borough Council 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 Wokingham Borough Council’s Local Plan team or TVERC.

Posted: May 10, 2019