Preliminary Ecological Appraisal
REC’s ecologists are highly experienced in undertaking comprehensive ecological appraisals with the main objective of minimising the potential for any costly surprises during the planning application process.
We have provided technical support for a wide range of planning applications from small, simple developments to large-scale residential, mixed-use and industrial schemes. The level of detail required for any ecological survey and assessment will depend on the nature of the development and REC will always provide tailored advice adapted to the size and complexity of your project.
Who needs a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal?
Most planning applications will require some form of preliminary ecological appraisal. In some cases, the survey will provide all of the information required by the regulatory body to determine a planning application. However, the survey can also be a helpful first step in informing a developer of the key ecological constraints and design options and where there is a requirement for further surveys and mitigation measures.
In support of a proposed development, a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal is necessary where it is considered that a detailed Ecological Impacts Assessment (EcIA) is not required:
- To establish baseline conditions and determine the importance of any ecological features present (or those that could be present) within the site
- To establish any requirements for detailed/further surveys
- To identify key constraints to the project and make recommendations for design options to avoid significant effects at an early stage
- To identify the mitigation measures as far as possible, including those that will be required, and those that may be required (based on results of further surveys or final scheme design); and
- To identify any potential biodiversity enhancement opportunities
Preliminary Ecological Appraisals can also be used to inform Site Management Plans (to identify and evaluate any ecological features of interest) and for gathering ecological baseline data to inform Code for Sustainable Homes or BREEAM assessment (i.e. to gain credits for Land use and ecology).
What can REC do for you?
REC’s ecology department understand the need for ecological assessments that are accepted by the Local Authority first time and with minimal effort from our clients. The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management prepared the Guidelines for a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal and based on these guidelines, REC provide two levels of Preliminary Ecological Appraisal: an Ecological Constraints Assessment which is generally suitable for small development sites or those of limited ecological potential, and an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey, that is suitable for all development types.
Your Local Experts
Undertaking a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal requires a broad knowledge of UK flora and fauna in order to provide accurate and reliable results. All REC ecologists are University graduates with environmental or biological sciences degrees and also hold the required memberships, licences and certifications to undertake ecological work. These include:
- Membership of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM)
- Holders of survey licences for European Protected Species (EPS) issued by the relevant national agencies (such as Natural England, Natural Resources Wales and Scottish Natural Heritage)
- Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue certification (CS38)
- Recognised with a construction related qualification by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
- Basic Electrical Safety Competence (BESC) and National Grid “Person” qualified
- Network Rail Personal Track Safety (PTS) certification
The credentials obtained by our ecologists give an indication of REC’s competence, qualification and commitment to continual professional development. Furthermore, REC’s national coverage enables our local ecology consultants to provide you with cost-effective and pragmatic ecology services in an efficient and sustainable manner.