Biodiversity offsets are conservation activities designed to deliver biodiversity benefits, in compensation for losses, in a measurable way.
Good developments incorporate biodiversity considerations into their design, but they can still result in some biodiversity loss when there are impacts that cannot be avoided through design and location, or mitigated by other measures.
A biodiversity offsetting scheme allows developers to fulfil the planning requirement for compensation through working with specialist offset providers who deliver conservation projects.
A defined methodology is used to calculate how many 'biodiversity units' need to be paid by a development to satisfy the compensation requirement. Offset providers then offer for sale conservation projects that deliver biodiversity units which a developer can buy.
Doncaster's role in Biodiversity Offsetting
Doncaster was chosen by Defra as one of six pilot areas that tested biodiversity offsetting during a two year project starting in April 2012.
During the pilot Doncaster Council offered developers the choice of whether they would like to provide compensation through an offsetting scheme or via the traditional negotiations that take place during the planning process.
Following this test project Doncaster will continue to offer the option of biodiversity offsetting to developers.
Doncaster's Offsetting Strategy and Offsetting Projects
Defra has developed guidance for the pilot areas setting out how an offsetting scheme could operate. Using this guidanceDoncaster Council has developed a local system that sets out how the offsetting process will operate inDoncaster and is set out in the document below.
- Doncaster's Biodiversity Offsetting Process
- Download (976KB)
Natural England has recently formally approved Yorkshire Wildlife Trust as an offset provider. Further information about potential offset projects will be available in due course.
For further information about offsetting, advice about the possibility of using offsetting within a proposed development or for information about becoming an offset provider, please contact via:
- Email: Helen.Markland@doncaster.gov.uk
- Tel: 01302 734924