Chipping Ongar Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey
REC was commissioned to undertake an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of a site in Chipping Ongar, Essex, to help facilitate a geo-environmental investigation. The location consisted of brownfield land positioned at the edge of an industrial estate and bordered by hedgerows, arable land, commercial buildings and roads. There were no re-development plans for the site, with the results of the geo-environmental and ecological investigations being utilised to determine feasibility of different proposal options.
A site walkover undertaken by REC’s ecologists identified habitats suitable for reptiles, hedgehogs, breeding birds, bats and dormice, as well as the presence of Japanese knotweed. These issues can cause significant delays to development and potential options to reduce effects on programme were therefore provided to the client.
Several options were considered to avoid spreading Japanese knotweed and it was decided to use a range of accepted methods to ensure that the geo-environmental work on site would not be delayed. The need for dormice, reptile and bat surveys was removed by carefully choosing the location of the trial pits and defining the path leading to them, as well as implementing a range of Reasonable Avoidance Measures. These were approved by the client and the local Council, ensuring the geo-environmental work could be carried out without major delays.
The project provided a good example of the multi-disciplinary REC team working together to reconcile both ecological constraints and geo-environmental needs.
For more information on ecological surveys at REC – please contact us online or call 0845 676 9303.