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Ecology Surveys in Edinburgh: Compensate and Mitigate

Before you will be able to submit a viable planning application to your local planning authority in Edinburgh, you may first need to demonstrate that no protected species of animals or plants will be harmed by arranging an ecology survey.

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Why Choose Arbtech?

Arbtech are the best asset you can possibly have when you need ecology or tree surveys to help you obtain planning permission.

Nature In and Around Edinburgh

Home to the largest collection of listed buildings, Edinburgh is one of the most famous, historic and culturally important parts of Scotland. A hilly city with breath-taking views at every turn, the cobbled stretch of road known as the Royal Mile feeds visitors up to the iconic Edinburgh Castle. It is also the host location of a wide range of world-renowned annual events, including the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Edinburgh Fringe Festival among many others.

The greenspace across Edinburgh stretches so far that it actually surpasses the amount contained within multiple major European cities. From the condition of authentic and natural parts of the city, it is clear that the local authorities have maintained an emphasis on retaining as much of the environmental quality as possible. By doing that, local protected species are given the opportunity to thrive, including the likes of badgers, bats, sparrow hawks, mallards, tawny owls and water voles.

Eliminating Potential Dangers Towards Protected Species

Three important factors are used to determine whether a given location would be suitable for building a habitat in the eyes of a protected species, including the local climate, the pool of available prey, and the natural or man-made structures for forming habitats. In bats, for example, all three boxes are ticked in a vast array of areas, but as for species with unique specifications, it can be far more difficult to identify somewhere that works for them.

A predetermined list features animals and plants that are protected by such legislation as the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. With help from the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Natural England and the Scottish Wildlife Trust in Edinburgh specifically, all species within the legislation are given sufficient safeguarding. During a development project, protected species will be one of many concerns, meaning that an ecology survey is needed before it will be realistic to progress.

Inspections on Listed Species

Early into the project management and planning stage of a proposed development, an ecological survey will enable a trained, licensed and qualified ecological consultant to assemble an understanding of the site and all present ecological features. For this, we would either suggest an ecological impact assessment (EcIA) or a preliminary ecological appraisal (PEA) / extended phase 1 habitat survey. Both options are applicable, but a PEA will offer a full picture of the development site, helping developers who are especially unaware of any potential constraints.

In an ideal scenario, it will be possible for the ecological surveyor leading the ecology survey to categorically confirm that no protected species are present. Alternatively, if that is not possible, an option could be to initiate changes that will allow the development to continue without further surveys, such as habitat creation or relocation. Whenever additional information is needed, however, the next step would be to conduct more defined ecological surveys, namely protected species surveys for the species in question. It could include great crested newt surveys or water vole surveys for animals, or Himalayan balsam surveys or Japanese knotweed surveys for plants.

Due to the frequent identification of bat roosts, bat surveys are often the most common form of protected species surveys. A bat survey will usually consist of two parts, starting with bat scoping surveys after a bat roost has been identified and moving onto bat activity surveys if additional data is needed. An ecology survey report will be created after all of the necessary assessments have been undertaken, and as it will include all of the relevant information about the site and the presence of potential animals and plants, it should be sufficient in giving the local planning authority the insight to grant the application for planning permission.

Choose a Date for a Survey

Whether your development is linked to the public or private sectors, the creation of wind farms, commercial buildings, residential buildings or private buildings, or if you yourself are a homeowner or professional client, Arbtech has a high level of proficiency to help. Our ecological consultants are based all over Edinburgh, Southern Scotland and other areas of Scotland to work closely with you and your project, and provide effective support on your development and the corresponding planning applications.

By speaking to our team early, you can receive an accurate free quote for a wide range of potential ecological surveys on your development site. Either call us, email us or fill out a quote form via our website, and if you are happy with the quote we send across, let us know, and from there, we will be working alongside you to organise and execute an ecological survey on your site. You will then receive the completed ecology report within a matter of days, ready to be submitted as part of your request for planning consent.

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