BIODIVERSITY SOLUTIONS FOR BRENT CROSS TOWN IN LONDON, ONE OF EUROPE’S LARGEST TOWN CENTRE DEVELOPMENTS
PROJECT NAME Biodiversity Net Gain assessment for Brent Cross Town Client Brent Cross Town Service Biodiversity Net Gain Project Period Ongoing

WHAT WAS THE CHALLENGE?

To provide oversight and guidance, we carried out a Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) assessment of the current likely trajectory of the masterplan. Through this, we identified the potential risks and opportunities in achieving the developments’ goal of 20% biodiversity net gain and provided targets for each sub-development plot or area of public realm to achieve, contributing towards the masterplan goal (so far only done this on a few plots, but basically step 1 is to achieve BNG within the plot if possible to avoid exporting deficits elsewhere, step 2 is make as many gains as possible with plot projects exploring opportunities for the key habitats). We are also providing input and oversight to project teams at the plot and public realm level to ensure their understanding of the overall goal, and to ensure sub-developments are on target. One way we have done this is through development of a Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity Design Guide outlining best practice guidance around these themes and shared to sub-development project teams.

The Outcome

Temple developed a ‘Biodiversity Coordinator’ role for Brent Cross Town in London, one of Europe’s largest town centre developments. Brent Cross Town aspires to be a park town for future London, providing 6,700 homes, and workplaces for 25,000 people, arranged around 50 acres of green parks & playing fields. The strategy for the town focusses on optimising for biodiversity with the parallel aim of providing and improving ecosystem services to the inhabitants of Brent Cross Town. The development represents a unique opportunity to undertake a comprehensive regeneration of the local area, and it was important to ensure that a joined up, coherent approach to design is employed across the masterplan to achieve optimal outcomes for nature and people.

Alongside this, we carried out an assessment of the baseline Ecosystem Service conditions based on their existing capacity for service provision at the Site and their demand on and around the Site. This assessment was based on ecosystem valuation tools such as Natural England’s Environmental Benefits from Nature (EBN) tool, academic research publications, and supported by Temple’s wide range of technical professionals. Ecosystem Services considered include air and water quality regulation, flood regulation, carbon storage, cooling and shading, noise reduction, recreation, aesthetic value, education, interaction with nature, and sense of place. The assessment identified deficiencies and opportunities for Ecosystem Service provision, which allowed us to prioritise those that are most important and relevant to the development, for targeting and improvement.

The aim is to apply green infrastructure and nature-based solutions through BNG as a mechanism to achieve the development’s BNG targets and improve priority ecosystem services to benefit people, while also providing a cohesive set of functioning habitats which offer stepping-stones and corridors for wildlife, and preparing the development for future conditions expected due to climate change.

Client Testimonial

The team at Temple have offered a pragmatic, diligent and enthusiastic approach to our ongoing work to deliver biodiversity net gain at our Brent Cross Town masterplan. Working at both the masterplan and plot-scale, the team has demonstrated expertise, alignment with our aspirations, and an understanding of our challenges. We look forward to continuing to work with Temple on this long-term project.

Key Contacts

Jon Riley Divisional Director - Biodiversity
David Coote Associate Director - Ecology
Temple