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Ecological assessments for planning applications

When we receive planning applications, we always consider the effect on local wildlife. If your work will affect protected species or habitats, you need to carry out an ecological assessment. You will also need an ecological assessment if the work is on or near:

What should the ecological assessment include?

You should to tell us about anything on or near the site that may be affected by the development, and how. This includes:

  • protected species
  • protected sites and sites important to nature conservation
  • wildlife corridors
  • important habitats 

All reports should include a map of the site, showing habitats and important features. They should give a brief description of the proposals, ecological limits and opportunities for enhancement.

Survey standards

Surveys should be carried out by qualified ecologists and, if European Protected Species are being surveyed, they may need to hold a survey licence.

Applicants should seek advice as early on as possible, as some steps are time-dependent and could cause delays.

Visit the Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management website for more information.

Improving Biodiversity

Developments should work with their natural surroundings and contribute to the biodiversity of the area (eg using brown and green roofs, or wildlife-friendly landscaping). Your planning application should contain details of how you will do this.

You should also consider surrounding parks, gardens and other green areas. Larger developments may need to provide a plan for the maintenance of their green areas.