The Habitat Bank

The Habitat Bank is a joint venture between Place Services, Whirledge & Nott and ACJ Ecology.

It aims to help developers, landowners and planning authorities to move towards no-net-loss of biodiversity and achieve measurable net gains for nature in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework.

Developers 

Our Habitat Bank service offers a one-stop shop for;

  • Offsetting net-loss through biodiversity compensation
  • Protected species mitigation
  • Long term monitoring management and/or ownership of mitigation/compensation land

The Habitat Bank also;

• Satisfies the appropriate planning authorities
• Adds environmental credibility
• Delivers meaningful environmental gain

Landowners 

The latest National Planning Policy Framework guidance requires developers to offset any anavoidable harm to the natural environment through biodiversity compensation, and relocate certain protected species, where on-site mitigation is not feasible.

In order to do so they will usually need third party land on which to achieve these requirements.

Our Habitat Bank database consists of numerous sites to enable developer compliance, subject to payment, in return for which the landowner will typically have to;

  • Enter into an agreement for up to 25 years or longer
  • Manage the site in accordance with pre-determined guidelines
  • Allow a third party to monitor implementation of the management guidelines

Payments to the landowner vary from site to site but can equate to a significant proportion of the underlying land value.

The first step is to engage one of our ecologists to assess your site for suitability and assess the number of biodiversity "units" it can offer to a developer under the Defra metric. Having done so, if and when appropriate we then negotiate terms for biodiversity compensation, including species relocation, to achieve no-net-loss for the developer. These terms will include appropriate stipulations for monitoring and management.

We charge a commission so our fees are commensurate and success-based.

If you are interested in any of the services that we can offer through the Habitat Bank then contact us at Habitat.Bank@essex.gov.uk or telephone 0333 0136867