Landowners with available land can now quickly and easily find developers who need land to site natural capital elements, thanks to an innovative new ‘matchmaking’ scheme.
The Green Offset – developed by Fisher German – links up parties looking to find land for any environmental requirements with landowners who have land available to facilitate this.
Offset Seekers – firms or individuals looking for land – will be able to search for suitable sites using The Green Offset website, and will be able to contact landowners or their agents once a match is made.
Landowners, referred to as Offset Providers, can register their land on the website, which will show that they are open to discussion and negotiation around siting of environmental schemes on their land.
The platform has been created to help develop the market for natural capital schemes, which are being driven by the proposals in the Environment Bill. The Bill, currently making its way through Parliament, is expected to require new development to not just avoid a loss of biodiversity, but to actually deliver a net increase in biodiversity, placing additional environmental requirements on developers.
If the Bill passes, developers will be expected to provide a 10 per cent ‘biodiversity net gain’ in their plans – this may involve them having to find alternative sites for offsetting the environmental loss which has been caused by the development. Although the Bill has not yet gained parliamentary approval, several local authorities and developers are already applying the principal of biodiversity net gain to planning decisions.
For farmers & landowners, the platform offers a simple way to market land for the provision of offset sites or other opportunities, as well as the opportunity to receive a potential new income.
Senior Surveyor, Alex Watts, said:
“Developers are often required in planning permissions to address environmental harm their projects might cause. And with the Environment Bill being debated in Parliament, these requirements look set to become even greater.
“For Offset Providers interested in diversifying their incomes and exploring new opportunities in emerging environmental markets, the platform provides a simple tool to market their land without committing them to anything up front. It also gives them an easy way to market their land to multiple parties at once and select the types of environmental scheme they would be prepared to see delivered on their land, so developers know at a glance whether the land is suitable for their needs.