Biodiversity Net Gain Readiness Checklist for Local Authorities

We have worked with local planning authorities to produce a Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) Readiness Checklist to help LPAs structure an approach to preparing for mandatory BNG. The checklist is based on existing LPA experience. Latest page update 8 February 2024.

The BNG readiness checklist is an Excel document, shared here as a PDF, that lists suggested LPA activities by area of work in a structured way. It provides a high level overview of what local authorities need to think about in preparing for BNG across the board, but it does not provide details on how to do each activity. The checklist highlights existing resources and examples where available and we hope that in time each activity could have a mini case study or example identified. It also identifies where expected further guidance/information from Government is required for individual activities to progress. A rating is provided for each activity, so you can understand how important each is likely to be in preparing for mandatory BNG, from 'legal requirement' to 'good practice', as well as an estimate of workload.

Defra have also set out 10 actions local planning authorities can take to prepare for Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG). A recording of a session in July 2023 on BNG for Planners where PAS's Beccy Moberly outlined the BNG readiness checklist with The Planner and Environment Bank is available on The Planner website.


The checklist divides activities into six themes:

1. Review
2. Communicate
3. Resourcing and skills
4. Establish a strategic approach
5. Development Management
6. Monitoring, enforcement and reporting

The table highlights information expected to support the activities of local authorities, but it is important to note that there is already a lot of information available on how mandatory BNG will work and much is summarised on our webpages.

If you are from a local authority and would like a copy of the Excel spreadsheet, please email [email protected] and we will send it on to you.

We are keen to get feedback from local authorities testing the readiness checklist via this MS Form.

Beccy from PAS presented on the BNG readiness checklist alongside David Sutherland from Buckinghamshire Council talking about their approach to BNG readiness at a Homes England Summer Learning Programme event in July 2023. You can access the recording of the event here.

PAS runs a practitioner network for local authority officers interested in BNG. If you want to explore how to implement the readiness checklist in more detail, you can join the network, which holds regular meetings and has an online forum, by filling out this Microsoft Form.

Feedback welcomed on this page and please do share your examples with us: [email protected].

Why plan for the implementation of BNG?

To comply with the Environment Act 2021, LPAs need to be ready to receive and determine planning applications with BNG from 12 February 2024. Thinking beyond development management will help make the most of the opportunities to achieve wider benefits. Many local authorities are already working on BNG, there’s some excellent good practice, plus lots of potential partners to work with. See our webpages for more detail on existing good practice.