Greena Ecological Consultancy carry out Phase 1 Habitat surveys and ecological appraisals, working with developers, architects, county councils, and highways authorities in order to assess development impacts on protected habitats and species, design survey programmes, and ensure that necessary protected species mitigation licences are acquired successfully and on time. To ensure a successful application is made for an EPS mitigation licence it is essential that sufficient high quality data is gathered. Greena Ecological Consultancy are aware that delays in gaining an EPS licences can be very costly to developers.
Surveys for protected species are a material consideration in planning applications as it is an offence to kill, capture, or disturb them, or to damage, destroy or obstruct access to their places of rest or shelter. It is wise to always consider surveys for European Protected Species Licence early on in a project to avoid costly delays (or even fines) at a later stage.
Protected species surveys are often now a requirement before planning permission will be granted. Greena Ecological Consultancy takes a pragmatic, sensible approach to the provision of bat roosts for small and large-scale developments, tailoring the size of each mitigation scheme according to the numbers and species of the bats involved. The mitigation required is usually inexpensive and very easy to install, with more emphasis made on timing of works carried out.
Commercial (Larger Scale) Developments
Projects such as wind farms and larger residential developments and road schemes are larger in their land area and more complex in design, and always require a full ecological assessment as part of an Environmental Impact Assessment, particularly where a SSSI, SPA, SAC, RAMSAR or NNR is likely to be affected or is close to the site in question. Bats play a particularly important part of any habitat assessments and they are a recognised by the government as a bio-indicator species. Known bat roosts close to larger scale commercial developments must be taken into account and often radio tracking will be required from these roosts in order to gather robust data on foraging ranges and flight routes.
Greena Ecolocical Consultancy are highly experienced with devising fixed and walking transects for bats, which are typically required for large scale developments to make accurate assessments of bat activity, both prior to work taking place and to monitor the effectiveness of mitigation.
Radio-tracking bats is a professional speciality of Greena Ecological Consultancy, with Geoff Billington recognised as a leading expert in this. Radio tracking is often used in order to gather robust data on locations of roosts, foraging areas and flight paths. It is far more cost effective to employ an experienced team for robust data gathering during radio tracking as the information gathered is often critical in order to devise a successful mitigation strategy for a successful planning application and especially if the plans are in any way contentious or may go to a public enquiry.
Domestic (Smaller Scale) Developments
Smaller, private developments such as barn conversions, house extensions or renovations also require protected species surveys to be carried out at the planning permission stage. This may include surveys for bats, amphibians, reptiles, hazel dormouse, badgers, barn owls or water voles.
A European Protected Species mitigation licence may be required in order to allow works to proceed legally, and a successful EPS licence application will ensure the least possible delays and hassle. GreenaEco conduct all species monitoring during and post development, which is typically a requirement of the licence condition.
Greena Ecological Consultancy have carried out surveys for many hundreds of smaller developments in many of the counties of England and Wales. Suitable surveys are devised and carried out to comply with the development’s EPS licence application process, with GreenaEco acting as an intermediary between clients, the LPA, and statutory consultees. GreenaEco have carried out a many bat mitigation schemes with a good rate of successful take up by various species of bats and can offer a cost effective package for developers.
If a bat roost is likely to be affected by a development then a European Protected Species Mitigation Licence will be needed before the development works can legally start. It is essential that adequate detailed information is obtained and it is strongly recommended that survey and mitigation designs are begun as early as possible in the life of the project to minimise delays because late stage delays can be very costly.
The bat licence application process can sometimes be a slow and complex process, and requires the production of a ‘method statement’. A method statement document describes precisely how and when the work will be carried out and how bats will be conserved on site after the development. In order for the method statement contents to be passed by the Natural England advisers, certain types of survey must be carried out and these surveys often include one or more emergence surveys. emergence surveys can only be carried out during the spring or summer, which is bats active time of the year.
Typical mitigation strategies for bats include: avoiding sensitive times of year, supervision of demolition of specified key areas by a licensed bat worker, designing and providing a replacement roost with appropriate access points suitable for the species involved, and carrying out post installation monitoring for between 1 and 5 years.
To enquire about protected species surveys for commercial or domestic developments, please go to the Quotes page.