We're the only ecology consultancy that will refund your money if you don't get planning based on our advice (terms apply)

Ecology Surveys in Swindon: Reports to Guide Planning

If you need help with obtaining successful planning applications for a planning project in the Swindon area, our team can undertake ecology surveys such as extended phase 1 habitat surveys to ensure that no protected species will be harmed as a result of your proposed development works.

Your Free Quote

Step 1 of 3

  • Where shall we send your free quote to?

Full UK coverage
Over 18 years experience
Rapid and reliable
Get planning or your £££ back

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.

Effect of Ecology on Development

The local authorities are eager to protect and enhance the biodiversity throughout Swindon, and the local plan is explicit in its commitment to preventing unnecessary ecological harm, limiting damage, and encouraging the delivery of the growing obligation to biodiversity net gain (BNG). Healthy natural environments that are rich in biodiversity are almost universally attractive places to live, and in turn, this draws investment from businesses, boosting the economy and the value of the land, and making them appetising destinations for a wide range of potential planning opportunities.

This is why if your scheme involves disturbing, damaging or destroying ecological features, it is vital to commission an ecology survey as a way of adding weight to the claim that the proposed development is balanced against the needs of the environment and community. For example, a habitat survey recently enabled a developer to submit the corresponding report to the local authority, indicating that their site near Wanborough Road was not ecologically sensitive, supporting their bid to build nearly 400 new homes. Likewise, following the submission of a BNG plan that detailed how a scheme would protect badgers and hedgehogs from potentially hazardous trenches during construction work, planning permission was granted for the development of 70 homes in Piper’s Way.

A perfectly understandable reaction to any call for ecology surveys would be to see them as an unwelcome inconvenience. If you choose to go ahead with your development anyway without any acknowledgement of a need for an ecology survey and disturb protected ecological features or wildlife, however, you run the risk of serious criminal consequences. A veritable library of legislation is in place to protect the environment, and sanctions for offences match the severity of the perpetrator’s actions, ranging from unlimited fines to prison sentences.

Swindon’s Collection of Protected Species

If your development site is near a waterway like the River Ray or a green space like Coate Water Country Park, the likelihood of you encountering protected species or plants increases substantially. Although the presence of protected species is understandably tied to rural areas, industrialised areas can also host all manners of rare flora and fauna. A local small business found this out when their first planning application to convert their workshops was turned down due to the potential ecological impact. It was possible to achieve planning permission eventually, but an ecology survey was required beforehand.

Part of what makes Swindon such an ecologically strong part of South West England is the variety of protected species present, such as brown hares, curlews, dormice, grass snakes, great crested newts, and reptiles like adders and slow worms. Many of these wildlife species will be inhabiting the grasslands and woodlands throughout Swindon, as well as the wasteland and urbanised environments. It is important to emphasise that the local authority will be equally as concerned with protected plants as they will be with protected animals, as it all contributes to local biodiversity value.

Assessments for Ecological Features

A wide selection of surveys and reports are covered within the term ‘ecology survey’. For most sites and projects, however, the most suitable option would be a preliminary ecological appraisal (PEA) or extended phase 1 habitat survey. An ecological consultant will visit the site on a date chosen by them and the client, and over the course of a few short hours, the entirety of the area will be inspected at length to measure wildlife value, identify protected species, and determine whether the development plans are likely to have a significant effect on them.

Whenever protected species are found, the trained and licensed ecologists in charge of the inspection will be required to undertake further surveys to evaluate the status of valuable animals or plants on the site. Such assessments could include water vole surveys, reptile surveys, otter surveys, great crested newt surveys, dormouse surveys, bat surveys, barn owl surveys or badger surveys for animals, or Japanese knotweed surveys, injurious weed surveys, Himalayan balsam surveys or giant hogweed surveys for plants.

All preliminary ecological appraisals will conclude with the ecological surveyor creating an ecology report to detail their findings, suggest mitigation and compensation for any unavoidable damages, and address any other things that could work to meet the strict guidelines of the planning officer. Additionally, it will confirm if a European protected species licence (EPSL) is needed from Natural England to initiate changes involving the protected species. The report can then be submitted to the relevant local planning authorities at Swindon Borough Council to support planning applications.

Reach Out to Our Team Now

Every time you choose Arbtech, you decide to put your trust in an ecological consultancy where every member has local knowledge of the area, an advanced understanding of assessments that enable planning, and the necessary qualifications, licensing, training and experience. All of our ecologists are also up to date with the latest standards from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Natural England and the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), giving them everything needed to ensure that their actions and recommendations are at the highest possible standard of service and the optimum level of effectiveness.

Whether you suspect that great crested newts are on your site and you need help with your European protected species licence application, for instance, or if you aren’t sure if any protected species are present but need assurances before starting your planning project, we can help. To get started, all we ask is that you contact us with details of your site and project by calling, emailing or completing a quote form. We can then arrange a date for a preliminary ecological appraisal and work out what you need to receive a successful planning application from your local planning authority.

Ready to Get Started?

Arbtech are your best asset when it comes to getting planning permission for your project. We cover the whole of the UK and we are waiting to get started on your project...

Get Your Free Quote

Are you sure you want to leave without a free quote?

Get a Quote

No thanks, I don't need a quote