Preliminary Ecological Appraisals

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Also known as an ‘Extended Phase 1 survey’ or an ‘initial protected species survey’, this is the first stage of an ecological assessment relating to developments. Local Planning Authorities usually request such an ecology survey before considering a planning application.

The survey involves an initial visit to assess the site for any protected species or habitats. This includes checking any buildings for the presence of bats (known as a Preliminary Roost Assessment) and barn owls, and completing a Habitat Suitability Index assessment for great crested newts on any ponds within 250m of the development boundary.

NWS Preliminary Ecological Appraisals include a desktop study to check local biodiversity records 2km around the development. We then produce a comprehensive report summarising the findings and assessing the potential impacts of the proposed development. All reports are written to the CIEEM and BS4020 ‘Biodiversity Code of practice for planning and development’ standards. From this, we may recommend further surveys for protected species.

Protected Species Surveys

Following a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal our ecologists may recommend further surveys for protected species to confirm their presence or likely absence.

The results are incorporated into the report for the site. They will help fully assess the impacts of a proposed development on protected species and advice on what mitigation may be required. 

While an initial, Preliminary Ecological Appraisal can take place throughout the year, there are restricted seasons for conducting protected species surveys.