Biodiversity Accounting Supplementary Planning Document
8.1 Should a developer not wish to arrange their own biodiversity offset project(s), either on their own site or on a brokered site, then the council, in partnership with the Natural Environment Partnership, can offer an alternative option. This is in the form of a financial contribution – a financial payment called a Biodiversity Financial Contribution.
8.2 This is where the developer pays a contribution, under full cost recovery principles, to the council, which then takes over the responsibility to organise the required biodiversity accounting scheme, monitors its progress towards meeting the required units of biodiversity gain, takes action where necessary to ensure the gains are achieved, and formally reports on its progress.
8.3 This Biodiversity Financial Contribution will be paid to the council in accordance with the legal agreement. On receipt of the agreed sum, based on full cost-recovery principles, monies will be split into three funds. The percentages of the split will be determined by the council. These funds will be spent as set out below.
8.4 Biodiversity Accounting Fund
This fund will be used to arrange one or more providers to compensate for the loss associated with the development. While the preference is to use the Natural Environment Partnership's constructed scheme, alternatively this could be arranged through a broker, or a separate legal agreement arranged by the council. These arrangements will be detailed within a legal agreement, in accordance with an approved Biodiversity Accounting Management and Monitoring Plan.
8.5 Contingency Fund
This fund will be formed from the pooling of the individual contingency payments and will be used to secure additional biodiversity enhancements or other ecological projects that enhance biodiversity if requirements are not being met.
8.6 Management and Monitoring Fund
This fund will cover the costs associated with collecting data, managing databases, strategic mapping, supporting the Natural Environment Partnership's Expert Technical Advisory Panel (see Appendix 2), to be used to determine where best to locate offsets based on supply of units and meeting agreed local biodiversity priorities, for sample on-site monitoring and formal reporting of scheme progress. It will also cover distribution of all three funds where necessary.
8.7 Further information on how the Natural Environment Partnership's biodiversity accounting scheme works is available on the Natural Environment Partnership's website Natural Environment Partnership, including the process how the Expert Technical Advisory Panel will operate to advise which offset projects should be supported by the Biodiversity Accounting Fund, and the selection criteria to be taken into account by that Panel in selecting suitable offset sites that contribute to local biodiversity priorities as supported by the council.