When is this required:
All applications must include a completed Wildlife and Geology Trigger Table. This will indicate whether or not a Wildlife or Geology Report is required.
What information is required:
There are 2 elements to the requirements for wildlife and geological information.
Where the trigger table indicates that a Wildlife and/or Geology Report is required, it must be submitted with the application and be produced by a suitable qualified and experienced ecologist. The report (and any surveys) must comply with national guidance such as the British Standard for Biodiversity (GS42020). The report must include all the information required in order for the local planning authority to determine the application (including any survey information on protected and priority species).
If the submitted ecology report states that additional surveys are required in order to provide a full assessment of the ecology issues for an application, the Council will be unable to validate your application until the surveys are completed and submitted, as the submission of the surveys cannot be conditioned as part of a permission.
Where a development may affect the Exe Estuary Special Protection Area (SPA) either directly or indirectly, alone or in-combination with other developments, the Council must undertake an Appropriate Assessment of the impacts under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017
The applicant/agent must submit evidence including:
- the type and extent of the impact(s), including up-to-date survey where appropriate;
- mitigation measures proposed and how they will be delivered and maintained;
- how the mitigation will fully offset the impacts on the SPA/SAC;
- on-going monitoring to prove the effectiveness of the mitigation, where appropriate.
It may be necessary to undertake wildlife or site-user surveys over an extended period prior to submission of any application. All wildlife surveys must be up to date and undertaken by suitably qualified and licensed ecological consultants.
Information on lighting, noise, sewage/surface water discharge and any other potentially harmful matters may also be required. Your ecological consultant and subject-specific professionals should be involved in assessing possible impacts and proposing appropriate mitigation measures.
To mitigate impacts of surface water discharge a suitable Sustainable Urban Drainage scheme (SUDS) may be appropriate.
Biodiversity – Bats and Birds in buildings Survey Reports
- Barn Conversions
- Redevelopment of existing buildings that involves works to roofs, roof spaces, external cladding or cellars
- Works to underground structures other than drains/sewers
- Wind turbines or solar panels
Bat and Bird reports are required for the applications listed unless:
- Located in highly urban areas
- The building was erected after 2005, without specific bat provision incorporated
- Works are to a flat roof or to a single layer sheet metal/plastic roof.
A licenced bat consultant will be needed to undertake the survey(s) and produce the report unless they consider that a full report is not required (e.g. no evidence of bats) when you may obtain a letter from them stating why a full report is not required and submit this with your application instead.
Bat and Bird Survey Reports must include date of survey, methodology used, evidence found, assessment of impacts on protected species, mitigation/compensation for impacts, details on how these will be delivered and a scheme for monitoring effectiveness of mitigation/compensation. The necessary surveys may need to be undertaken over an extended period prior to submission of any application.
All reports must be up-to-date and produced by a licensed bat consultant (their licence number should be quoted in the report).
Where surveys can only be done at certain times of the year you should make sure that the report has been commissioned and received and submitted with your application. We will not hold onto invalid applications awaiting reports.
Biodiversity - Ecological Reports
- New builds or change of use on greenfield or vegetated brownfield sites
- Developments adjacent to greenfield or vegetated brownfield sites
- Works to, or adjacent to rivers and streams
- Loss of intertidal habitat
- Loss of trees
Applications for development that has the potential to adversely affect biodiversity must be accompanied by an Ecological Report which must appraise the site itself and adjacent land. It must be produced by a suitably qualified and licensed ecological consultant and include:
- desk study
- phase 1 survey
- Natural England Offsetting Metric calculations showing the net biodiversity loss/gain
- protected species surveys
- any additional habitat and species surveys advised by the ecologist
- assessment of importance of biodiversity features
- assessment of impacts
- suite of measures to avoid/mitigate/compensate impacts
- details of how these will be delivered
- details of biodiversity enhancements/net gain that will be provided and
- a scheme for monitoring the effectiveness of mitigation/compensation.
Surveys may need to be undertaken over an extended period and the results used to inform the design of the development/compensation. All reports must be up-to-date and produced by a suitably qualified and licensed professional ecological consultant. If your professional ecological consultant considers that a report is not required you may submit a letter from them justifying why this is the case. Where surveys can only be done at certain times of the year you should make sure that the report has been commissioned and received and submitted with your application.