Plymouth Habitat Banking Vehicle
Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Councillor Bill Wakeham (Cabinet Member for Environment and Street Scene) and Kat Deeney (Head of Environmental Planning) introduced the report and highlighted –
It was proposed in the report to establish a Habitat Banking Vehicle – an ‘HBV’. The purpose was to deliver a local solution to the new duties set out within the Environment Act 2021 in relation to Biodiversity Net Gain which would come into force Autumn 2023. The new duty would drive a new market where biodiversity units could be created and sold.
As a result of the new duty in the Environment Act developer contributions in their current form related to local greenspace would discontinue. Without developing an HBV which aligned with the new duties there was an estimated loss of £328k annual income for PCC to enhance the environment for people and nature.
The Business Case sets out the opportunity to proactively respond to the new requirement for Biodiversity Net Gain - to develop a new sustainable revenue stream and business model, which would enhance our green and blue spaces and maximise the benefits for our communities.
The options analysis within the business case recommends that the establishment of a HBV at arm’s length to PCC was the preferred approach. This was because it maximises the benefits available, at lowest risk to PCC and delivers the most viable operating model.
Cabinet agreed to –
1. Approve the principle of creating a Habitat Banking Vehicle (HBV) as set out in the Business Case.
2. Delegate to the Strategic Director of Place the approval to work to scope pilot sites and associated background infrastructure required to trial a habitat banking approach as set out in the Business Case.
3. Approve recommendation that details of implementing the HBV including scope of services, final structuring, contracting and governance arrangements (including appointing directors) to be brought back for Cabinet decision as soon as practicable but within 12 months.
4. Approve the Business Case.
Publication date: 08/12/2022
Date of decision: 08/12/2022
Decided at meeting: 08/12/2022 - Cabinet
Effective from: 16/12/2022