The government has pushed back the roll out of its mandatory biodiversity net gain (BNG) requirement to January next year.
Under the updated timetable, developers in England will be required to deliver 10% BNG from January 2024 onwards when building new housing, industrial or commercial developments.
This means by law, they must deliver a net positive for the local environment, for example by creating new habitats and green spaces.
The government had intended to bring in the BNG requirement in November 2023.
But BNG for small sites will still be applicable from April 2024, and implementation for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects remains planned for 2025.
BNG was introduced through the 2021 Environment Act, with the government it would be "fundamental in helping the country meet our target to halt the decline in species abundance by 2030."
Biodiversity Minister Trudy Harrison said: "BNG will ensure new developments work for both wildlife and people. We will create nature-rich places whilst ensuring communities get the new homes and infrastructure they need.
"The updated timetable and guidance we are setting out today will help smooth the transition ahead of BNG going fully live in January 2024."
Developers and planning authorities have been told to use the additional time to familiarise with the guidance and prepare for the integration of BNG into the planning system