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AE Ecology

Ecological Consultancy Services

Preliminary Ecological Appraisal / Phase 1 survey  - do you need an ecology survey to support your planning application?

Maybe your local planning authority has asked you for a Phase 1 (or 'Extended' Phase 1) or other type of ecology survey when you had already submitted your planning application.

 

Or maybe you know your project will involve working on a site where you think there might be some interesting biodiversity.

 

Sometimes called a Phase 1 survey, an ‘Extended’ Phase 1 survey, a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA), or a walkover survey, these are essentially asking for the same thing*. We prefer to call it a PEA, because that is what the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) is promoting as best practice, and strictly speaking, is actually what is needed - a proper appraisal of the ecological impacts, not just a survey telling you what is, isn't, or might be at your site.

 

Your local planning authority has to be confident that if it wants to grant you planning permission, it has all the necessary information about the biodiversity (or ecology, or wildlife) of your site to make sure it a) knows what is there and b) that overall, there would be no loss of ‘ecological value’.

 

Firstly, it is really important to know that wildlife law is not there to stop development!  The law and planning policy has been written to actually enable development to go ahead, provided that wildlife has been legally and properly dealt with.  This is where we come in.

 

We will (if you pay us) visit your development site and – you’ve guessed it – walk over it.  As we walk over it, we will identify and map the key habitats on the site, and make an initial assessment of their ‘value’, as well as identifying if your site, or parts of it, are likely to support any particular species that have legal or planning policy protection.

 

We will also advise you if it is likely that any more detailed surveys (such a specific bat survey or reptile survey) would be needed (see here for next steps following the PEA).

 

We would be more than happy to discuss your project with you and send you a no-obligation quote for our services.  You can simply fill in the form on this page (or our contacts page), or email us at [email protected].  If you include any photos or plans of your project when you submit the form or with your email, we can get a better idea of the likely level of work and costs.

 

And if you are unsure about anything, we are always happy to chat about ecology and planning!

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*actually, they aren’t quite the same… if you are really that interested, see our more in-depth article on the subtleties of ecological surveys, why they are needed, and what surveys should actually tell you.  And we suspect there are differences of opinion amongst ecologists about this, so debate is welcomed..!