The Importance of Biodiversity in Planning

As the nation makes strides towards becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and Build Back Greener, biodiversity has become an increasingly popular topic of discussion. In short, biodiversity promotes an abundance of different wildlife within a singular territory – from plants, animals, insects and fungus – for the benefit of the wildlife, habitat, and wider environment. Taking inadequate care of these habitats can be detrimental on a much broader scale, resulting in the dysfunction of their intricate ecosystems, creating eyesores within local neighbourhoods, and down valuing properties. That’s why today, we’re going to be covering the importance of biodiversity in property planning to ensure that your neighbourhood is the best place to live for all creatures, great and small.


Ensuring That Habitats are Maintained

Real estate development represents 37 percent of developed countries’ energy consumption, 40 percent of carbon emissions and 40 percent of waste production, which impacts our environment enormously. This has encouraged the creation of the Environment Bill which insists that any new developments from 2023 focus on ensuring a 10 percent Biodiversity Net Gain. In many cases, developers will need to acquire additional land for the purpose of reaching this BNG quota and spend extra time and funds on ecological enhancements.

At Virtu, we’re no stranger to enriching the environments we work with, which is why we’ve created our Social Value Act to help us give back. For each new instruction we receive for our services, we provide free wildflower seeds to our clients. This isn’t just a small gift to show our consideration, but a means for us to promote biodiversity across the country. Wildflowers are powerful pollinators that provide food for bugs and insects, especially the declining bee population. They are even known to assist in ground water filtration, and supply seeds, insects and other food for wildlife, which keeps your local habitat thriving.


Aesthetics and Appeal in Biodiversity

The topic of ecological enhancement is now trending, as opposed to being just a regulatory necessity. As awareness regarding the declining health of our ecosystems becomes more widespread, the desire to actively pursue greener living methods has increased. Beyond being deemed by many as a necessity for the future of our planet, the combination of man-made infrastructure and the natural world creates a diverse and vibrant environment which has been known to provide a mood boost, as well as looking aesthetically pleasing. What’s more, incorporating green spaces into modern residential and commercial developments contributes to a ‘feel-good’ factor wherein purchasers and occupiers feel like they’re contributing positively to the environment, resulting in longer tenancies and justifying higher asking prices.


The Economy and Biodiversity

Although the environmental benefits of biodiversity speak volumes on their own, money talks. Thankfully for businesses and investors, biodiversity makes economic sense, especially in modern Britain where the ‘green economy’ is worth £200 billion. This appetite for greener living directly translates into buyer’s attitudes towards real estate, with purchasers being willing to pay more money for properties with access to green spaces. The presence of nearby green spaces can boost property prices by 1.4 per cent, which is demonstrative of the importance access to biodiverse spaces is to property purchasers. What’s more, putting biodiversity at the forefront of future property development plans could reap £1.4 billion in profits according to research by Savills. However, merely building near biodiverse spaces doesn’t quite cut it – these areas require ongoing maintenance in order to thrive and continue to provide valuable space to residents.


What Does The Future Hold For Biodiversity?

Biodiversity Net Gain remains firmly on the agenda for the British government as part of their pledge to transform local communities and environments by fostering a sense of care and responsibility for wildlife and insects. This can be seen in the growing interest that Brits have in taking care of the environment on both a national and local level, with concern for environmentalism at a record high as-of 2019. What’s more, with the record-breaking heatwaves this year being further evidence of global warning, the importance of changing our collective outlook and habits to combat the deterioration of our planet has become more prevalent.

With all eyes on the environment and biodiversity, many property developers and planners have produced ways to optimise their spaces for the betterment of local habitats. Property developers are starting to look into mutual ground as a means of not only bringing communities together to foster a sense of responsibility for their local environment, but also encourage the production of local produce via allotments, flower gardens and even expansive woodlands. Some developments are even banning fuel-guzzling vehicles from driveways and instead providing designated car-parks as a means of reducing noise pollution in nearby green spaces. Placing these green spaces at the epicentre of new-build developments and communities makes it hard to ignore the impact residents have on their local environment, and encourages a sense of emotional investment in maintaining green spaces and promoting biodiversity.


How Can Virtu Help?

At Virtu, we put biodiversity and conservation at the heart of everything we do. From our Social Value Act, which actively aims to give back to our local communities through the lens of environmental enrichment, to the nature of our work maintaining green spaces, Virtu is dedicated to sustainable practices.

We understand that even the smallest green spaces are important, which is why we’re proud to offer our Mutual Ground service to our clients. To find out more about how Virtu can transform your development, contact our friendly team using the form below: we’d be delighted to help!

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