Michelmores’ Bristol team advises Environment Bank on pioneering solution for biodiversity net gain

Farming

The Bristol office of UK law firm Michelmores has advised on an innovative partnership between Environment Bank Ltd and specialist alternative asset manager Gresham House to introduce a new compliance solution driving biodiversity net gain (BNG).

Through establishing a nationwide network of habitat banks, Environment Bank’s BNG Credits offer developers a way to implement biodiversity net gain in line with the Environment Act 2021, while also generating income for landowners.

Michelmores advised on the partnership arrangement between Environment Bank and Gresham House, structuring the suite of legal documents required to support the business model in line with the requirements of the Environment Act 2021.

Partners Alexandra Watson (corporate) and Ben Sharples (agriculture) led the team, drawing upon expertise from across the firm’s corporate, commercial, agriculture, real estate, tax and regulatory teams.

James Cross, CEO of Environment Bank, said: “We’re working closely with landowners to help deliver sustainable development through the creation of woodland, meadow and wetland habitats. Our unique habitat banks provide a long-term opportunity for landowners to diversify their income, a biodiverse haven for plants and animals, and a simple, risk-free way for developers to meet changing regulations.

“Thanks to Michelmores expert advice and the support of Gresham House, we are able to offer an end-to-end solution for developers that are required to implement biodiversity net gain when it’s not viable to deliver on site.”

Alexandra Watson, Partner in the Corporate team at Michelmores LLP, added: “The new biodiversity net gain requirements introduced by the Environment Act 2021 are a game changer for any development after the transition period – this will heavily impact on developers and local authorities. In response, Environment Bank will be offering an end-to-end commercial solution through its partnership with landowners.”