Goal is part of housing association’s new nature strategy

Clarion Housing Group has announced it will aim for a measurable biodiversity net gain of 20% for all new development projects. 

The target, which is significantly above the 10% mandatory threshold, was announced as part of the 125,000-home housing association’s ‘Nature Recovery Strategy’. 


For existing neighbourhoods, Clarion will target a 10% voluntary BNG uplift on up to five communities a year. 

The requirement for developers to prove biodiversity improvements was established by the Environment Act 2021 but only brought into force earlier this year. 

Its roll-out was recently criticised by the National Audit Office, which said the government launched the scheme with “risks to its effectiveness”. 

Clarion’s nature strategy also includes initiatives designed to provide increased access to high-quality green spaces for residents, as well as the integration of nature-based solutions to enhance climate resilience around its properties. 

“Our new Nature Recovery strategy is a comprehensive approach to enhancing biodiversity, improving community well-being, and building climate resilience across our developments and existing neighbourhoods,” said Miles Lewis, director of sustainability at Clarion Housing Group 

>> See also: Will the government’s biodiversity plans prove a net gain for the housebuilding sector?

According to surveys carried out by Clarion, 70% of its residents say climate change is important to them personally, 75% of those surveyed showed positive attitudes towards nature recovery. 

The main concerns among residents around any approach to nature recovery are linked to maintenance (70%) and potential messiness (55%). 

Concerns were also raised about the financial implications of green space improvements. 

According to a recent unaudited trading update, Clarion’s new housing completions in 2023/24 fell 24% year-on-year as it took a more “cautious” approach to development”. 

Earlier this month, the group announced an “ambitious” restructuring of the housing association to focus on improving housing management and customer service.