Planning authorities require ecology surveys when a proposed development may impact wildlife as this allows them to make an informed decision regarding the development’s effect on biodiversity.
At Greenlight, we have experience in a wide range of ecological surveys and with a variety of developments. Our surveyors hold a variety of Natural England Species Survey Licences and have extensive knowledge in conducting a wide range of Protected Species Surveys.
Read more about specific surveys below.
Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (“PEA”)
Typically required as a first step to address the ecological aspects of a planning application, a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (“PEA”) provides the essential baseline data for a site. Our reports provide an initial site assessment, used to identify the habitats present on site that may support protected species, and appropriate mitigation and enhancements for the proposed development.
All reports are carried out in accordance with CIEEM guidelines for PEAs. Please note: PEAs include Preliminary Bat Roost Assessments (“PRA”) if buildings and/or trees are present on site.
Preliminary Bat Roost Assessments (“PRA”)
As mentioned above, Preliminary Bat Roost Assessments are required when a development involves the demolition of a building, part of a building, or any works which may affect a location where bats could be roosting. PRAs identify any signs of bat use in the structure and assess the need for further bat activity surveys.
Our surveys are conducted in accordance with the most up to date Bat Survey Guidelines and our reports provide a clear description of our findings, an assessment of the potential impacts of the proposed works on bats and appropriate mitigation and enhancement measures.
If bats use the structure(s) or tree(s) for roosting, a European Protected Species (“EPS”) Mitigation Licence from Natural England may be required to conduct proposed works.
If you require more information regarding preliminary surveys, please get in touch.
Protected Species Surveys & Licences
Protected Species Surveys
Protected Species Surveys are usually required if the preliminary surveys have identified habitats on site and potential detrimental impacts on protected species from the proposed works. Our professional surveyors hold Natural England species survey licences and have extensive experience to conduct a wide range of Protected Species Surveys including:
We conduct all our Protected Species Surveys in accordance with the current best practice standards and survey guidelines. At Greenlight, we document results using bespoke and pre-designed templates to ensure a complete audit trail and reliable record-keeping.
Natural England (European Protected Species) Mitigation Licences
Mitigation Licences from Natural England are required when activities which are expected to have an impact on a Protected Species cannot be avoided. If the works were conducted without a licence, it would constitute an offence.
The Greenlight team is experienced in applying for Natural England Mitigation Licenses for badgers, bats, great crested newts and water voles. We are proud to have a proven track record of successful applications and always work in close consultation with our clients to ensure the mitigation strategy can be tailored to the project.
To find out more about mitigation used for obtaining a Natural England Mitigation Licence, contact our team today.
Ecological & Environmental Impact Assessments & Habitat Regulations Assessments (“HRA”)
Ecological Impact Assessments (“EcIA”)
An Ecological Impact Assessment is a process of identifying, quantifying and evaluating potential effects of development-related, or other proposed actions, on habitats, species and ecosystems. Generally, it is comprised of a PEA and Protected Species Surveys and is often undertaken as part of an Environmental Impact Assessment.
Our reports provide recommendations for mitigation necessary to ensure obligations with respect to biodiversity are met.
Environmental Impact Assessments (“EIA”)
An Environmental Impact Assessment is required on larger developments that are triggered by The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations. An EIA is the entire process whereby information about the environmental effects of a project is collated and assessed, then utilised in the decision regarding whether a project should go ahead or not.
Greenlight act as the lead consultant for the production of EIAs and provide an assessment of the full range of environmental impacts using our network of specialists. Our team have experience with larger developments, such as the installation of multiple wind turbines, intensive livestock structures and major housing developments. We employ the practices for EIA as promoted by the Charted Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.
Habitat Regulations Assessments (“HRA”)
A Habitat Regulations Assessment is required for developments that may have an impact on European Protected (Natura 2000) sites. It considers the impacts of a land-use plan against conservation objectives of the site, ultimately ascertaining whether it would adversely affect the integrity of the site.
We have extensive expertise in HRA Screening and Appropriate Assessment reports, with particular experience in HRAs relating to potential impacts on Protected Sites.
Give us a call today to discuss these assessments alongside your project details.
Construction Support & Biodiversity Enhancements, Ecological Management Plans and Method Statements & Measurable Biodiversity Net Gains
Construction Support refers to the required monitoring and reporting function to ensure wildlife legislation requirements are met during development. If your development needs to proceed and there are risks to protected species that may be present, we can provide a licensed ecologist to be on site to oversee operations and deal with protected species under the relevant Natural England licence.
We are experienced in providing Ecological Clerk of Works duties to major civil engineering projects and can give you peace of mind that your project is always compliant. Our recommendation is to undertake a survey and assessment of the risk of protected species before this decision is made.
Biodiversity Enhancements, Ecological Management Plans and Method Statements
Ecological Management Plans and Method Statements are often prepared to discharge a condition as part of the planning permission and are designed to safeguard biodiversity.
We prepare reports in accordance with recommendations in the British Standard BS42020: 2013 – Biodiversity – Code of practice for planning and development. Our reports are tailored to address your planning condition and will include information on timings of sensitive works, risk assessments of potential impacts, and mitigation and enhancement measures.
Measurable Biodiversity Net Gains
Measurable Biodiversity Net Gains (“BNG”) is a relatively new approach designed to leave the natural environment in a better state as a result of the proposed development. This approach involves a series of calculations using the DEFRA Biodiversity Metric to compare the habitats on site pre-development to the anticipated habitats post-development. This provides a quantitative answer (percentage change in habitats, hedgerows and rivers) and is designed to steer mitigation and compensation to protect environmental features. BNG can be achieved through creating or enhancing habitats on-site or off-site.
If you require more information regarding these ecological surveys, please get in touch.
Greenlight Environmental Ecology Surveys
We are able to assist with ecological surveys before, during and after development. Our experience and expertise allow us to adapt to any sized project and consistently deliver the same reliable results and guidance.
Call us on 01379 413011 for a free, no obligation chat.