Habitat And Ecological Surveys
Local Authorities have a responsibility to protect preserve and enhance biodiversity under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (NERC) and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).This is to ensure that UK and European protected species such as Great Crested Newts, Bats, Reptiles and Badgers are protected during development and that no adverse impact on the conservation status of these species should arise as a result of development taking place. Therefore before a Planning Authority can grant planning permission they must be satisfied that there will be no loss of biodiversity as a result of development.
Ecological Survey Requirements
Subsequently ecological survey data is required to form part of most planning applications. This survey data may take the form of Protected Species Surveys, which must be completed by a suitably qualified ecologist, following specific methodologies at the correct time of the year.
If the correct ecological surveys are not undertaken then the developer can be exposed to lengthy delays in the development process and even criminal prosecutions and hefty fines due to the legal protection of certain species/habitats via legislation such as the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW) and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (CHSR). SES ecologists have experience working with all native protected species and have implemented numerous licensed mitigation, protection and enhancement schemes in a pragmatic and cost effective manner.