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Ecology Assessment

New development land needs to be assessed for its ecological value. Although not currently a building regulation, it can be required as part of a planning application and is needed if you're building to a Code for Sustainable Homes or BREEAM standard.

What is an Ecology Assessment?

The United Kingdom hosts a number of rare and endangered plant and animal species. Many of these are protected through legislation and planning policies. Most local authorities will have planning policies that aim to conserve and enhance biodiversity . These normally include policies relating to local wildlife sites and wildlife corridors.

An Ecology Assessment must be submitted to planners, and if appropriate your Code for Sustainable Homes or BREEAM assessors, detailing the ecological value of the land. The assessment should also show where the Suitably Qualified Ecologist (SQE) has recommended ecological improvements.

Once the land has been surveyed, and depending on the planning requirements, the developer will need to ensure the site ecology is no worse following completion of the building work. In many cases, there is an expectation that the site ecology will be improved as part of the works. 

Top Tips for an Ecology Assessment

  • Ecology Assessments contribute a significant amount of credits at the ‘Design Stage’ for BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) Certificates. Once the design stage has passed, ecology credits for BREEAM or CSH cannot be achieved retrospectively. 

  • If your site is shown to have a high ecological value (following the site visit), credits are earned by taking measures to protect any existing ecological resources during development and enhancing the ecology of your site afterwards.

  • If you need to make a change on site that goes against the Ecologist's report, check it with them first.

The Energist Approach

  • Whether you need to commission an ecologist for CSH, BREEAM or local planning policies, our team of specialists can help.

  • We will also liaise with your LPA to find out their targets and visit the site to make recommendations.

  • Your report and supporting documentation will be sent to you within your specified deadlines.

You may also need:

CSH   |   BREEAM   |   Energy Statement

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