Last week Morgan, one of our Senior Consultants, attended a Chartered Institute of Ecological and Environmental Management (CIEEM) training seminar on Biodiversity Offsetting. This day facilitated sensible debate about the value and application of Biodiversity Offsetting between peers from a range of Environmental Consultancy firms. The primary principal of Offsetting is the creation of ex-situ like-for-like (or enhanced) habitat at dedicated offset sites where development stands to irreversibly destroy or degrade in-situ habitats. Many, including the Government, are selling this as a simplified way to address biodiversity concerns within planning. Defra’s pilot scheme for testing Offsetting comes to an end this month, however we can’t help but notice a number of fairly major flaws in the pilot methodology and its practical application. Whilst in some cases it may be an acceptable approach, or at least the best approach we have to work with, Offsetting could stand to complicate development schemes and add additional cost. To discuss how Biodiversity Offsetting may change the planning process with regards to biodiversity in the near future call one of the Greengage team on 020 544 3995.