Statutory Biodiversity Credit Prices

On the 27th July 2023 DEFRA announced the indicative prices for statutory biodiversity credits:

Where biodiversity net gain credits are not able to be balanced on site, or off-set within land held by the developer, credits may be purchased from DEFRA’s “credit sales service” at a ratio of 2 credits per 1 biodiversity unit you need to compensate for.

Credits for different habitats are costed at different prices. Bearing in mind that under the terms of the metric, habitat values are already weighted to value ‘high distinctiveness’ habitat at a higher number of biodiversity credits per hectare, any loss of these habitats are likely to become prohibitive for most developments on price.

Costs vary from £42,000 per credit for ‘low distinctiveness’ habitat (e.g. improved grassland, arable), £48,000 for most ‘medium distinctiveness’ habitats (excluding ponds, scree), to upwards of £66,000 per credit for ‘high distinctiveness’ (largely Priority) habitats. Note any semi-natural woodland will be charged at the eye-watering rate of £125,000 per credit.

Any hedgerows will also face charges of £44,000 per credit, and in the event any works to streams/rivers (e.g. culverting) is required then this will be charged at £230,000 per credit.

Now more than ever it is important to ensure the layout of a development takes account of the habitats present and innovative design is in place to ensure optimal outcomes for nature and the developer.

If you would like further guidance or have a project that you would like to discuss please contact Kate Rooney (01869 340342) or Jo Alderton (01536408840).