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The BNG credit scheme allows developers to maximise the on site potential of their landholding

by meeting their biodiversity net gain responsibilities off site.

The Easy Steps to Securing BNG Offset Land


  • Undertake your BNG Assessment on the development site


  • AGM to provide the BNG Assessment on the credited land for your Ecologist to confirm the number of credits legally required


  • Secure the credits via allocation reservation or outright purchase


  • AGM liaise with the LPA to confirm LPA agreement


  • AGM to provide the allocation agreement for your application


  • The developer walks away having secured their commitment to BNG



The NPFF places a responsibility on local planning authorities to encourage net gains for biodiversity to be sought through planning policies and decisions. This allows the local planning authority to determine how BNG is assessed and enforced within their jurisdiction.


All planning permission will be subject to a condition that the development may not begin unless the local planning authority approves a biodiversity plan. The planning authority can only approve the plan if they are confident of its accuracy and that any offsite biodiversity gain or credits are already allocated or purchased. Furthermore, the gain must be at least 10%.


If you have a development proposal that requires planning permission it is likely that the BNG requirements within the new Environment Bill will have an impact on your project and expert advice will be essential to ensure an efficient process and outcome for your development.


It has been agreed that off site BNG land does not have to be within the LPA where the planning application is sought.  Athough there maybe a financial contribution for BNG land used outside the LPA.  This is still emerging and any contributions have not been set and are unclear at this stage.


The BNG credit scheme allows developers to maximise the on site potential of their landholding by meeting their BNG responsibilities off site.  Whilst the concept is relatively simple, the process of establishing a BNG site is quite complex from both a landowner, developer and Local Planning Authority point of view.  It is also a very new legislative requirement and therefore there is limited experience.


Our experience in this area means that we can manage the process using a professional and efficient approach to ensure that your needs, wants and aspirations in terms of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) are realised. 

AGM Ltd is an established planning practice based in central Bath ( and has a bank of certified offset BNG land credits that has been established by our network of longstanding landowning clients.


Our experience in this area means that we can manage the process using a professional and effluence approach to ensure that the developer's need, wants and aspirations in terms of BNG are realised.

 Securing Credits against Development


Allocation of Credits

The developer enters into an allocation agreement with the landowner under the AGM BNG credit scheme to reserve sufficient credits for the scheme.  The allocation agreement is then presented to the Local Planning Authority to demonstrate that the proposed development has met the requirement for 10% BNG as part of the planning application.  The agreement therefore forms a material consideration to the application.  Please note the agreement is signed on receipt of a non-refundable deposit.


Reserving credits

         The allocation cost to the developer is a % of the overall value of the number of credits required.  This is a non-refundable deposit and the allocation held for a maximum of 2 years from the date of the legal allocation agreement.

 Purchasing Credits Outright

  On allocation of the BNG credits the Developer may choose to purchase the BNG credits outright, meaning that they would submit an allocation certificate to the LPA at application stage.  A S106 agreement would then still be required between the developer and the LPA but it would simply secure the credits with no further action/submission of information required.  They could then commence development immediately, subject to any pre-commencement conditions etc.


 Management Fees

            AGM Ltd (BNG) will invoice a management fee for both reserved and outright credits, this fee also includes the 30 monitoring and S106 commitments on behalf of the landowner and the developer can walk away onto their next project with peace of mind that their BNG obligations have been met.


LPA legal agreement

If the application is ultimately found to be acceptable, the developer can either:

  1. Enter into a S106 legal agreement with the LPA to secure the BNG credits against the development.  The legal agreement will place an obligation on the developer to not commence development until they have submitted an allocation certificate to demonstrate that the BNG credits have been purchased in full;


2. Should the credits have been purchased outright and the developer has submitted the final allocation certificate to the LPA there will be no condition within the S106 agreement and they are free to commence the development.

Overview of The Legal Process

 In very simple terms the BNG credits scheme from conception onwards is secured through three legal agreements/contract:

  • A legal agreement between the Local Planning Authority and the landowner to establish and accredit the BNG credit scheme

  • An allocation agreement (contract) between the landowner and the developer to secure the purchase of the credits.  

  • A S106 or Unilateral Undertaking between the Developer and the Council to secure the credits against the development


For further information please contact us.

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