Dramatic aerial view of gently rolling patchwork farmland with pretty wooded boundaries, in the beautiful surroundings of the Cotswolds

The Bio-diversity Net Gain (BNG) requirement means that any habitat lost by a development must be replaced with enhanced habitat elsewhere such that the improvement in habitat scores at least 110% of the value of the habitat that is being lost.

However, in situations where there is no suitable land at the proposed site, the developers will be able to access a register of land that can be quite remote from the site.

This obviously opens up possibilities for land-owning individuals and organisations to list land as available and enter into conservation covenants to fulfil the BNG obligations of the developers.

Issues for landowners to consider

Financial Returns

The prices currently mooted could represent an attractive option for many landowners but it will be important to evaluate the proposition fully.

The length of the covenant

At the moment covenants look to have a minimum lifespan of 30 years though this could be more depending on the nature of the development.

Conservation costs

Landowners will need the expertise to ensure that they are positively enhancing the habitat as required. That is likely to require new skills.

Tax implications

Depending on the existing use of the land, there may be unintended tax consequences such as IHT so its important to take advice.


The information in this article was correct at the date it was first published.

However it is of a generic nature and cannot constitute advice. Specific advice should be sought before any action taken.

If you would like to discuss how this applies to you, we would be delighted to talk to you. Please make contact with the author on the details shown below.

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Richard Verge - Tax Director

E: rverge@goodmanjones.com

T: +44 (0)20 7874 8856

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Richard is a personal tax expert and is able to advise high net worth individuals on either immediate tax concerns or a long term plan to ensure that their affairs are structured to take advantage of the tax reliefs available.

His experience from working with HMRC ensures that he is more than adept at understanding the view from the other side, to the benefit of his clients. Richard advises entrepreneurs, owners of family businesses and partners in professional practices and provides advice on planning from both a personal and worklife perspective.

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