Consultation – Biodiversity Accounting Supplementary Planning Document


A new law will soon require relevant planning applications to include information on how the development will both maintain and increase biological diversity (biodiversity). All relevant planning applications will need to provide this within two years once the law is passed. Along with other measures, the council has drafted a ‘Biodiversity Accounting Supplementary Planning Document’ to help achieve this earlier in Buckinghamshire. The council wants to start making this happen ahead of the legal requirement to do so. We invite you to take part in our public consultation about this draft Biodiversity Accounting Supplementary Planning Document.

What is Biodiversity Accounting?

Biodiversity describes the variety of life on Earth that humans rely on to survive. We need a natural world that is complex, resilient, thriving and full of variety. Nature needs to be able to cope with change. Different animals and plants in a habitat help to make that place stable and sustainable. Accounting in this context refers to measuring and improving the biodiversity on development sites.

About the Biodiversity Accounting Supplementary Planning Document

The document sets out:

·         Improvement or ‘net gain’ biodiversity requirements in line with the emerging Environment Act;

·         How to measure existing biodiversity and how to achieve the required net gain (using a biodiversity accounting tool);

·         How to avoid biodiversity loss, increase biodiversity on site and compensate for actions that would affect a gain in biodiversity (mitigation hierarchy).

The document provides guidance for implementing biodiversity policies in the:

·         Chiltern Core Strategy

·         South Bucks Core Strategy

·         Wycombe Delivery and Site Allocations Plan

·         Wycombe Local Plan

·         Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan once it is adopted

What are Supplementary Planning Documents?

Supplementary Planning Documents are documents which add further detail to the policies in Local Plans. They can be used to provide further guidance for development on particular issues and are capable of being a material consideration in planning decisions.

Take part in the consultation

To take part in the consultation, please submit your views to the council in one of the following ways:

·         Using the online consultation system at

·         Email us on

·         Write to us at Biodiversity Accounting SPD Consultation, Planning Policy, Buckinghamshire Council, King George V House, King George V Road, Amersham, Buckinghamshire, HP6 5AW.

What happens next

We will consider the responses we receive and will review the content of this Supplementary Planning Document. Following any amendments, we will put forward the final draft for adoption as an approved Supplementary Planning Document.