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Craven District Council

Ecological/Geological Assessment

When is an ecological/geological assessment required?

Policy Driver

  • Craven Local Plan Policies ENV4: Biodiversity, ENV11: The Leeds and Liverpool Canal
  • National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

When required?

If a proposed development is likely to affect a site of ecological or geological interest.

All developments within or immediately adjacent to any of the following protected sites:

  • Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
  • Special Protection Areas (SPAs)
  • Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)

Check for further information.

What is required?

The requirements are different for different protected sites, however, any survey would be informed by the results of a search for geological data. The survey must be to an appropriate level of scope and detail and must record which habitats and features are present on and around the development site, must identify the extent/area/length present and map their distribution on site and/or in the surrounding area shown on an appropriate scale plan. Following the Survey, the Assessment should identify and describe potential development impacts likely to harm designated sites, priority habitats, other listed biodiversity features or geological features and include direct and indirect effects both during construction and afterwards. Where harm is likely, evidence must be submitted to show how alternatives designs or locations have been considered, how adverse effects will be avoided wherever possible, how unavoidable impacts will be mitigated or reduced and how impacts that cannot be avoided or mitigated will be compensated. The Assessment should give an indication of likely change in the area, in hectares, of priority habitat on the site after development, for example whether there will be a net loss or gain. An ecological/geological survey and assessment may form part of a wider Environmental Impact Assessment:


The applicant will need to contact Natural England for its consent that permission can be granted. If there are conditions recommended by Natural England, the applicant is required to confirm that they will comply with the conditions. If the applicant does not wish to comply with the conditions then a copy of the response from Natural England should be provided along with details of how any issues raised by Natural England will be addressed.

 Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection area (SPA) or RAMSAR

If the proposal is likely to have a significant effect on the protected area then an Appropriate Assessment will need to be completed by the Authority. The applicant will be requested to provide such information as may reasonably be required to make such an assessment and at their own cost.