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7th March 2024

Five ways to make validation of Biodiversity Net Gain applications work for you

RTPI publishes Verna article, sharing emerging best practice on how Local Planning Authorities are handling validation and BNG.

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has published an article by Verna’s Co-CEO, Dr Matthew Brown, sharing five top tips for how to manage validation processes related to Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG).

The article is based on learnings from conversations with the many Local Planning Authorities using Verna’s Mycelia software to manage BNG. We are seeing trends in best practice emerging, and wanted to share these with the sector as a whole.

The article sets out how BNG changes validation, and five actions that councils can take to make the validation process work well for everyone involved.

Tip 1: Consider making a complete BNG metric a local validation requirement

Dr Matthew Brown, Verna’s Co-CEO, in the RTPI article

These insights are also useful for planners working outside of councils, for example with developers, to understand how authorities will treat their applications.

You can read the article on RTPI’s The Planner website here (opens in new tab).

Verna’s Mycelia software automates Natural England’s BNG validation checks: when a validation officer drags and drops a BNG Metric spreadsheet into the software, Mycelia instantly checks all the data and calculations and presents a report showing whether the Metric is valid, with advice on next steps and text that can be copied directly into a message back to the applicant (pointing out where in the spreadsheet any problems can be found).

Getting the computer to do the heavy lifting offers the best of both worlds: catching issues upfront, without overwhelming validation teams.

Dr Matthew Brown, Verna’s Co-CEO, in the RTPI article

To find out more about how Verna is supporting Local Planning Authorities to achieve ecology and nature goals, you can learn about our Mycelia software or see other resources we’ve published for the sector.