Most planning applications will require at least a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) to assess the impacts on protected species and habitats, in order to aid the Local Planning Authority in making their decision.
The Preliminary Ecological Appraisal is one of the first steps in undertaking an ecological assessment of a site and comprises a desk-top study, extended phase 1 habitat survey, site visit and report.
A desktop study – identifying nearby sites designated for their ecological significance, important habitats (such as ancient woodlands and ponds), and reviewing data obtained from the Local Environmental Record Centre.
Extended Phase 1 Habitat survey – where a site visit is undertaken to identify habitats on-site which are suitable for supporting protected species. In general, a well-vegetated site contains more potential for supporting wildlife.
Assessment of impacts – the proposed development would be likely to have upon site habitats, protected species and local biodiversity.
Recommendations – regarding a number of matters, including mitigation required to reduce negative impacts, enhancements which could improve the site for wildlife, or the need for further detailed survey (e.g. protected species surveys).
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