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Ecology Surveys in Warwickshire: Help With Planning

Whether it involves PEA surveys, EcIAs or any protected species surveys, a form of ecology survey may be required for your development in Warwickshire, helping you to secure a planning application from the local planning authorities.

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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.

Warwickshire’s Authentic Countryside

Made up of 197,500 hectares of land, Warwickshire in the West Midlands is a mostly rural part of England surrounded by the counties of Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire and Worcestershire. In past years, the county of Warwickshire gained much of its revenue from a number of industries, including agriculture, automotive manufacturing, engineering, technology and tourism. Of all settlements in the county, the largest by population include Nuneaton, Rugby, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick and Bedford.

Famously the birthplace of William Shakespeare, much of Warwickshire retains high value natural features and locations, helped by emphasis from the local council to provide regulation and management over the ten nature reserves, 163 parks and playgrounds, and the fact that the River Avon flows through the county. The local authorities will be sure to maintain a watchful eye over any activities and practices that could potentially harm the standard of biodiversity throughout Warwickshire, particularly in the case of development projects and the decision making side of planning applications.

Identified Protected Species in the County

Considering the vast countryside embedded in Warwickshire, it will come as no surprise to learn that the county is a hive for many of the country’s protected species of animals and plants. The conditions of the land also pose seemingly endless opportunities for local listed species to create and occupy suitable habitats. Warwickshire Wildlife Trust defend all of the animals and plants situated within the county, and a recent study found that more than 8,400 species were in circulation. In Warwickshire specifically, protected species include breeding birds, bats and great crested newts.

A total of 52 local biodiversity action plans (LBAPs) are currently in place for Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull, and with them available, it is made clear what targets need to be met in order to remain in line with the local and national environmental strategies. Both land and property development projects are likely to cause the most impact on the environment, and with that in mind, developers are advised to show consideration to European protected species and other valuable ecological features by booking an ecology survey with a reputable ecological consultancy.

Reports for Meeting Planning Requirements

In the early planning stage of any development work, a wide range of ecological surveys are available to benefit the planning process. As for determining potential ecological constraints, an ecological impact assessment (EcIA) or preliminary ecological appraisal (PEA) / extended phase 1 habitat survey would suffice, with a PEA often utilised to assemble a summary of the development site. All rare, valuable or invasive plants and animals will be noted during a site visit, and from there, the ecological surveyor will know how to move forward.

Confirming that no listed animals or plants are present would rank as the priority outcome, but if this isn’t possible, the ecologist managing the ecological survey may be able to submit immediate compensation or mitigation measures that will halt any need for further surveys. As a last resort, if more informagtion is needed, they will be left with no choice but to request that specialised protected species surveys are conducted, such as bat surveys, great crested newt surveys or any number of assessments for other protected species of plants. A bat survey is generally common, as bats can occupy almost any area and can therefore appear frequently in rural and urban locations that could be natural or man-made.

For the local planning authorities to accept an application for planning permission, they will first need an ecology survey report to explain the findings from the assessment and next steps that will rule out any chance of harm coming to present protected species. An ecology report will be created immediately after the ecological survey has been undertaken, and within it, recommendations for further surveys, any tasks that need to be completed, and data from the Warwickshire biological records centre may be included. It will then be ready to be passed on to the local planning authority.

Speak to Our Ecological Team

With guidance from relevant organisations such as the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), our ecological consultants are proficient in a wide range of ecological survey services to support the planning process. The extensive experience throughout our ecology team gives us the insight and expertise to deal with any planning issue, and coverage throughout all areas enables services in all parts of Warwickshire.

Remaining active throughout the year, we can conduct protective species surveys and all other types of ecological surveys at any time during winter or summer months, with the only restrictions coming from the optimal time for each species. All clients would be advised to plan ahead and avoid problems caused by potential seasonal constraints. Either call us, email us or complete a quote form, and we will send across a free quote. Let us know if you are happy with it, and from that point, we can decide on a date to undertake an ecological survey on your site and assemble a report to pass on to the relevant local planning authority as part of your planning application.

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