- European Site (ie SAC/SPA/Ramsar)
- Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
- In or adjacent to National Nature Reserve (NNR)
- Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI)
- Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS)
- Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
- Wildlife Corridors
- Priority Habitats
- Development of greenfield sites.
- Redevelopment of disused, redundant or buildings in disrepair in the main urban area.
- Redevelopment of outbuildings within the countryside
In general terms all ecological information will need to be prepared and presented in such a way that it is fit to inform the decision-making process.
It should include:
• information on existing biodiversity interests on the land affected by the proposed development as well as on adjoining or nearby land that may be affected by the proposed development;
• information on possible impacts on the biodiversity interests; and
• details on avoidance, mitigation and/or compensation measures.
The level of information required will be proportionate to the scale of development proposed and the likely impact on biodiversity. In most cases a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) should be provided and inform further survey requirements. Where a proposal is likely to affect protected species, the applicant must submit a Protected Species Survey and Assessment. Any survey should be undertaken and prepared by competent persons with suitable qualifications and experience and must be carried out at an appropriate time and month of year, in suitable weather conditions, over a sufficient period of time and using nationally recognised survey guidelines/methods where available and as appropriate.
Ecological Information should:
• record which habitats, features and species are present or likely to be present on and, where appropriate, around the site;
• identify the extent/ area/ length/ numbers (where appropriate) present;
• map the habitat/ features distribution on site and/or in the surrounding area shown on an appropriate scale plan; species distribution and use of the area, site, structure or feature (e.g. for feeding, shelter, breeding).
Any ecological report must identify and describe potential development impacts likely to harm designated sites, priority habitats, other biodiversity and geological features, protected/notable species and/or their habitats identified by the survey. These should include both direct and indirect effects both during construction and afterwards. Where harm is likely, evidence should be submitted to show:
- how alternative designs or locations have been considered;
- how adverse effects will be avoided wherever possible;
- how unavoidable impacts will be mitigated or reduced;
- how impacts that cannot be avoided or mitigated will be compensated.
In addition, an ecological report will need to include information on proposed works that will enhance, restore or add to designated sites, priority habitats and features or habitats used by protected species. The Assessment should also give an indication of likely changes to habitats and/or how species numbers may be affected, if at all, after development, e.g., whether there will be a net loss or gain.