Most planning applications now require the completion of a biodiversity checklist which is shown on the web. This in turn will lead potentially to Phase 1 Ecological Reports of the natural habitat to discover where there is the presence of, for example, badgers, bats, the range of Areas of Special Scientific Interest and special areas of Conservation are also vitally important in assessing the potential of a site for new development, especially residential.
If a conversion is being applied for, particularly residential, it may need to be demonstrated that neither bats nor barn owls are roosting in the existing structure. However, mitigation measures can be undertaken to either provide new accommodation or transport these species elsewhere so that aspirations for conversion are not frustrated.
It may also be necessary to undertake a range of other ecological surveys eg. if the site is adjoining (or near) areas of local or national Ecological Significance or SSSI’s.
It must be determined at an early stage whether any surveys initially commissioned are merely a starter for further more detailed surveys.
The timing and physical collation of these surveys is a legal requirement and Procuro Planning Services can advise on this.