If a project requires planning permission then, as a minimum, a Phase 1 Survey (Ph1S), also known as a Preliminary Ecological Assessment (PEA), will have to be submitted to the local planning authority as part of the supporting documents for the planning application. Planning authorities now have a duty to consider biodiversity when assessing planning applications and some district and borough councils issue a biodiversity checklist to help potential developers understand or assess the level of detail the planning authority will require for a successful planning application.
It is advisable to consult with the local planning authority about your project as early as possible, particularly as there are occasions where a standard Phase 1 Survey and protected species surveys are not enough to meet the overall ecological requirements for the project; in these occasions an Ecological Impact Assessment may be required. Ecological Impact Assessments are usually only required for large infrastructure projects or projects close-by an area of ecological interest such as Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI), Special Protection Area (SPA), Special Area of Conservation (SAC) or Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar site).
If the Phase 1 Survey reveals that there may be protected or valuable habitats or species affected by the project then more detailed surveys will be required. These extra surveys must be completed and submitted with the planning application before the planning application can be validated and determined. It is now a legal requirement for all planning authorities to determine planning applications only when all relevant ecology surveys have been submitted and, if required, all ecological mitigation plans and wildlife licences have been agreed, or are in the process of.
HalpinRobbins undertake a range of surveys tailored to our clients planning requirements. For a better idea about our projects and work involving planning permissions see our case studies or contact us to discuss your project.
A simplified version of the planning process, relating to ecology, in England is shown below:
You can find more information about planning applications from your local planning authority or on the planning portal website, the government gateway to planning information throughout the United Kingdom.
Our staff maintain and enhance their knowledge of ecology and the environment through research, specialist training and by maintaining membership of several professional and specialist bodies including:
If you wish to find out more about permitting, ecology services or to discuss a project or development please contact us directly for a free, non-committal discussion.
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