A trusted provider
TOE offers a simple and effective offsetting service for people holding funds to deliver biodiversity net gains in Oxfordshire. Developers, planning authorities and communities can all have confidence in our ability to support the right projects.
A respected local Provider
TOE offers a complete service as a biodiversity offsetting provider in Oxfordshire.
As the county's leading independent environmental funder, TOE has the local knowledge and partnerships necessary to identify suitable projects and receptor sites for biodiversity offsets. We also have the administrative capacity to manage large, ring-fenced funds.
We've developed our offsetting programme with Local Planning Authorities (LPA), following Defra guidance for biodiversity offsetting providers, to ensure that TOE's offsetting provision is suitable for S106 agreements and discharging Planning Conditions.
Services for developers
TOE’s services are designed to deliver offsetting requirements stipulated in planning decision notices. In general, we do not get involved at the pre-planning stage.
If an offset requirement is placed in an S106 agreement or Planning Condition, for example, the developer can release funds to TOE, who will then take responsibility for delivering the offset and net gain, subject to LPA approval. TOE also reserves the right not to accept funds if we have any concerns about the impact site.
TOE’s standard process involves pooling deposited funds into a single pot for each Oxfordshire district, from which project grants are drawn down on an ongoing basis. TOE does not therefore match each incoming fund with a single corresponding offset site, unless by special arrangement.
TOE is a registered charity and non-profit company with regulated financial processes.
TOE is a recognised local offsetting provider, known by Local Planning Authorities.
In South Oxfordshire and Vale of White horse districts, a certificate from TOE, issued upon receipt of funds, is accepted by the LPA as evidence of the discharge of Planning Conditions.
In West Oxfordshire, Cherwell and Oxford City districts, we can discuss offset requirements with developers and LPAs on a case by case basis.
TOE’s offsetting programme services include the promotion of project grants, processing applications, managing payments, supporting project delivery, inspecting outcomes against agreed management plans, maintaining records, and reporting to LPAs.
It is TOE’s role to secure the biodiversity enhancement for perpetuity (at least 25 years). Monitoring and ongoing dialogue with the landowners / managers of receptor sites focuses attention on biodiversity outcomes.
Programme management fees
TOE charges a programme management and administration fee for the full service provided. This varies on a case by case basis but is usually in the range of 15%-25% of the total cost.
TOE is a charity and non-profit company. Our fees reflect the huge amount of work involved identifying suitable sites, developing viable projects, and monitoring outcomes over very long periods of time.
For developments that have had the cost of the offset determined in their Decision Notice (for example in a planning condition), TOE’s adds a percentage-based fee on top of this amount.
If the cost of the offset has not yet been determined, TOE can discuss individual arrangement.
Other points to note
Offsetting funding allocations may be matched with other offsetting funding or other grant funding to support larger, more strategic projects.
Where possible, offset funds may be banked in a ring-fenced fund for large-scale strategic habitat restoration and land purchase schemes to secure sites for long term for biodiversity gain.
The funding will be allocated to sites within the District Council area where the offset has been created.
Individual funding allocations should be spent within 10 years of receipt, or returned to the developer, less the administration fee.
Please get in touch if you have any questions or wish to discuss anything further.