As part of its ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability and in response to the Environment Act 2021, Cabinet members will discuss the establishment of a habitat bank on council-owned land. The habitat bank creation is aimed at providing an option to developers who are unable to meet the mandatory 10% biodiversity net gain (BNG) requirement for new developments within their sites.
Utilising Council-owned land for the habitat bank presents an opportunity for the Council to collect biodiversity credits from developers who are unable to meet the 10% biodiversity net gain requirements within their development sites and retain this within Barnsley. The revenue generated from selling these credits will be reinvested into the habitat bank to improve its biodiversity habitats. These improvements must be maintained and managed for 30 years.
The creation of a habitat bank is in line with the Healthy Barnsley 2030 ambitions, contributing to residents' health and well-being by contributing towards climate change mitigation. The proposed habitat bank also aligns with the council's goals of sustainable development, emphasizing the importance of ensuring that the habitat for wildlife is in a better state than before any development takes place. This proactive approach contributes to the overall environmental health of the region.
Cllr Robin Franklin, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture said: “Creating a habitat bank is a fantastic project to not only support developers reach their biodiversity net gain requirements but to ensure the preservation and improvement of wildlife habitats on a Council-owned site”
“The creation of a habitat bank will enable us to enhance our biodiversity further and create a cleaner, greener, more sustainable Barnsley.”