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Tailored BNG solution from Environment Bank enables sustainable warehouse project

Developer: Graftongate 
Sector: Commercial – Logistics warehouse 
Region: London & South East 

LPA: Test Valley Borough Council 
NCA: South Hampshire Lowlands 

Habitat Bank: Chippenham, Wiltshire 
Biodiversity Unit: Grassland 

About the development project

Working on behalf of Nursling Southampton Investment LLP, commercial property developer Graftongate required off-site Biodiversity Units for a 6.23-acre project which will offer increased local employment opportunities at the Nursling Industrial Estate in Southampton. 

The £40 million logistics warehouse is set to be one of the nation’s most sustainable industrial buildings. Not only will the site feature net zero carbon operations, but the building itself aims to achieve an A+ energy efficiency rating and a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ sustainability rating. 

Projects such as these play an important role in reducing industrial environmental impact while also meeting the increased demand for sustainable logistics spaces along the south coast.

Tailored BNG support solution

Once they had minimised on-site biodiversity impacts as far as possible and exhausted all options for on-site BNG delivery, Graftongate required off-site Biodiversity Units to compensate for impacted grassland habitats and achieve an overall no net loss to biodiversity. 

Environment Bank provided a great deal of legal and planning support to allow work to begin on-site as early as possible. 

We engaged with the local planning authority (LPA) – Test Valley Borough Council – and worked in collaboration with consultants representing Graftongate. By doing so, we were able to agree the necessary wording and trigger points to secure approval of their unilateral undertaking with a suitable direct governance covenant in place.

Impactful, landscape-scale restoration

We supplied Graftongate with Biodiversity Units from one of our most diverse Habitat Banks sat within the adjacent LPA to the new development, issuing a suitable Biodiversity Unit certificate to discharge the relevant planning conditions. 

The Chippenham Habitat Bank is a landscape nature restoration site specifically designed to achieve impactful biodiversity uplifts. Sites such as these are far more effective for developing broad ecological networks than small-scale endeavours, and they can be carefully monitored and managed for the coming decades. 

Alongside the medium distinctiveness grassland Units purchased by Graftongate, the Habitat Bank also includes a diverse mix of scrubland, woodland, rivers, ditches, ponds, reedbeds, hedgerows, and meadows. These new habitats will provide steppingstones for wildlife – connecting valuable landscapes in the south of England and helping the region’s ecosystems recover.

A huge thanks to Test Valley Borough Council. Their co-operation allowed us to provide a timely and comprehensive solution – one that enabled this sustainable development project to go ahead. We’d also like to thank Graftongate’s consultants from Quod, Gowling WLG, and BWB Consulting for their collaboration. We are really looking forward to working with Graftongate again in the near future. 

Lloyd Collins
Principal Planner
Environment Bank

Thanks to Lloyd and the team at Environment Bank for all their hard work. We needed local Biodiversity Units to satisfy our planning conditions and meet our programme aspirations. Environment Bank guided us through their support offering and their expert legal support was vital when it came to agreeing acceptable pre-commencement mechanisms under the S.106. We look forward to working with Lloyd and his team again on our future pipeline.  James Martyn-Smith
Construction Director

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