Everything we do at Arbtech is geared towards helping you get planning permission granted for your project, without having a harmful effect on wildlife. We have been doing this for a long time and we have faced just about every planning related problem imaginable along the way so if you are looking for a company to provide the ecological and arboricultural surveys you need to allow your development to go ahead, then look no further.

We appreciate that when you started planning your project, you may not have considered being asked for an ecological or arboricultural survey by your local planning authority. That’s why we aim to keep the headache to a minimum by providing no nonsense advice, low prices and very fast, efficient work.

Why am I being asked for an ecological or arboricultural survey?

These surveys are required because your planning authority needs to check if your development could have a negative impact on wildlife or trees which are located on, or near your development. In the case of wildlife, there are many species that are protected by law such as great crested newts and bats. Disturbing or endangering them is against the law and can result in hefty fines and even jail sentences.

In the case of trees, certain species have something called a Tree Preservation Order on them which makes it illegal to cut the tree down or carry out any work on it without the permission of the Local Authority. Fines of up to £20,000 are possible for cutting down a tree with a Tree Preservation Order. Mortgage lenders may also request tree surveys if your land is in close proximity to trees to make sure that they will not present any issues or dangers to property or people.

What kind of surveys are needed for planning permission?

There are quite a wide range of surveys that you could be asked for. There are a variety of different tree surveys that your mortgage provider or local authority may ask for and there are also a wide range of surveys for various protected species such as newts, bats, reptiles, badgers and owls.

How long do the surveys take?

This depends on the type of survey. Usually we can complete your survey in a matter of weeks. This would include the time in takes to get you a quote, arrange a visit to your site and write your report. However, some surveys need to be done over longer periods of time. A phase 2 bat emergence survey is a good example of this. This survey is seasonally restricted and can only be done between the months of May and September because this is when bat activity is at its peak. For more information on your specific requirements please get in touch and we can answer your questions for you.

What happens if I don’t get the survey done?

If you don’t get a survey done that you have been asked for by a planning authority then you will not be able to obtain planning permission.

What if I just do the works anyway, without planning permission?

If you decided to carry out works without applying for planning permission or you ignored details of planning permission then you would be committing a ‘planning breach’. You would also be committing a planning breach if you carried out the works after planning permission had been denied.

A planning breach is not illegal and if you have not already requested planning permission, you may be able to apply for permission retrospectively. If permission has already been denied or you have broken the rules of your planning permission then the council can issue an enforcement notice which will require you to alter or demolish the property. Disobeying an enforcement notice is illegal.

Cant I just check for protected species myself?

If you have been asked for a protected species survey then the survey must be carried out by a licenced and trained ecological consultant in order to satisfy the requirements of your local authority.

Will my development be delayed if I need a protected species survey?

Delays are possible if the survey you need is seasonally restricted. Some surveys can only be done at certain months where the species being surveyed are active enough to observe. Bats are a good example of this. If you need a bat emergence survey then the survey will need to be done between May and September so if you only find out you need your survey towards the end of that survey window then you would need to wait until the following year.

How long does it take to get planning permission?

When you submit your planning application your planning department will check that it has all the information it needs along with the correct fee and then they will try to assess the planning application within 10 to 12 weeks. They are usually able to provide a decision within this time frame.


The planning application process can be a frustrating process, made even more frustrating if you have been asked for surveys which you may not have expected or budgeted for. Using an experienced consultancy like Arbtech can make this process much smoother. Not only do we provide a money back guarantee if your planning is refused based on our advice but our surveys are of a very high quality, well priced and extremely fast, which means you can get back to planning your development and spend less time worrying about surveys.