Protected Species Surveys
Why have protected species surveys been recommended?
It is common these days for additional protected species surveys to be recommended following an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey or Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, although this will depend on your site and your proposals. This is because these initial assessments do not typically provide sufficient information to support a robust assessment of the potential effects of proposals on protected species. We often need to confirm the presence/absence of protected species, characterise their use of the site and get an indication of population sizes. It is very important to undertand that your Local Planning Authority is very unlikely to issue planning permissions for a site that is subject to protected species survey planning conditions. Therefore at sites where protected species surveys are recommended, applications normally cannot be registered until these further surveys are completed. You should be aware that this can delay an application by several months. Involving an ecologist at the earliest stages of a development can save you months in waiting time.
There are a range of protected species that may be affected by developments, but don’t worry, it’s our job to support and advise you through our protected species surveys on how best to proceed so that your development meets guidelines and does not breach the relevant nature conservation legislation.
Following the Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey we may recommend further work such as our Badger surveys that precisely map Badger sett entrances, bat activity transects or reptile surveys. This will largely depend on the habitats at the site, their potential to support protected species and the probable impact of your proposals.
The most common protected species issues relate to nesting birds, Badgers, reptiles and bats but there may also be Dormice, Otter, Water Vole, Great Crested Newt and other species to take into account. The list is quite extensive and goes on to include certain plants, fungi, lichens, mosses, insects, birds, mammals, fish and amphibians. For some of the more obscure groups such as fungi and bryophytes we will normally involve a regional expert.
But don’t worry; if protected species are present there is nearly always a procedure to deal with these issues in a way that meets guidelines and avoids committing an offence under wildlife conservation legislation. It may involve clearing vegetation when nesting birds are absent, closing a Badger sett, moving reptiles, or re-designing lighting or the position of a hedgeline within your development to prevent an adverse impact on commuting bats.
Provided we are included in the project at its outset we can either find ways to retain these species within the developed site or we can work with you to design practical mitigation.
Our protected species surveys will ensure that your planning application has the best potential for approval thereby saving you the delays, headaches and costs involved with a failed application.
Our Commitment to You
To show how committed we are to providing you with a high quality service, we have adopted BS 42020:2013 Biodiversity – Code of practice for planning and development for all of our protected species surveys. Furthermore our ecologists hold a Class licence for bats from Natural England, are full members of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (MCIEEM) and qualified as having the required Competency for Species Survey as outlined by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.
Registered Office: Brunel Court, 122 Fore Street, Saltash PL12 6JW
Trading address: 1 Geffery Close, Landrake, Saltash PL12 5HA
0800 622 6828
01752 851 979