The unique geology and landscape present in the UK has created a range of specialist habitats and species. The current national planning policy framework (NPPF) places emphasis on the need to consider protected species in any new development. Many local authorities require evidence that surveys for protected species have been undertaken prior to the consent of planning applications. This is where SAP Ecology and Environmental can help. Our dedicated and highly trained team of ecologists are experts in assessing habitats for their potential to support protected species. If potential is identified, species specific surveys will be recommended to ensure your project remains compliant with UK and European legislation and the NPPF.
Protected species specific surveys will be completed by a trained and licensed ecologist. Each survey will be tailored to the requirements of the species in question and will be dependent upon the site and likely impact of the project. It is advised that ecological advice be sought as soon as possible within a development programme, to ensure adequate time for potential surveys to be carried out. Many protected species within the UK have an 'optimal' time period for survey which is linked to their life cycle. In order to ensure the validity of the results, and acceptance by governing bodies, surveys need to be completed within this 'optimal' ecological window.