LOCAL councillors discussed plans to introduce a habitat bank to the town last week.

The creation would provide a way for landowners to create or restore a habitat in advance and ‘bank’ the resulting biodiversity units.

These units can then be purchased by developers in order to comply with the mandatory ten per cent biodiversity net gain, where this can’t be achieved on the site of a new development.

Details of where the site will be have not yet been confirmed, but the plans were approved by the council at Wednesday’s meeting.

A report states: “It is recommended that the council uses some of its own land to create a habitat bank.

“This will then enable the council to ‘sell credits’ to developers who are unable to meet the ten per cent biodiversity net gain requirements within their development sites.

“We are proposing to create a habitat bank on one site initially.

“This is a new area of work, and we don’t know how resource intensive the process will be.

“We may also learn from the experience of the first one and be able to improve our process if we decide to create future habitat banks.

“We intend to monitor the sales of credits and if it is working well, before all credits are sold, we will consider creating another site.”