Planning Services

Avian Ecology offer full planning services for the private and public sectors. Our highly skilled team possess an in-depth knowledge of the planning process and offer complete support from project conception through to consent. We ensure that client objectives are fully understood and prioritised, and provide robust and pragmatic advice to achieve successful results.

For the private sector, we appreciate that provision of surveys and impact assessment reporting is only part of our role. To help you to gain planning consent, we provide the extra input and advice needed to anticipate potential issues and then offer adaptable and integrated solutions, minimising costs and delays. Succinct and robust documentation is paramount, along with purposeful liaison with regulators and key organisations.

We also provide planning support for the public sector, typically working with local authorities where they require additional technical expertise for a specific planning application or project. We understand the responsibility of legislative and planning compliance and readily work within the public sector environment. Our collaborative approach involves all relevant parties and seeks to minimise planning complexities and costs.

We provide a comprehensive suite of ecology surveys across the UK through our team of experienced and qualified ecologists. We are resourced (and licensed where necessary) to carry out the full range of surveys, from baseline habitat surveys to detailed vegetation community mapping, and from extensive ornithology studies to specialist surveys for protected species. We follow recognised methodologies or can prepare bespoke survey plans for an individual project or site. All our fieldwork information is delivered in succinct and focused reports with clear outcomes.

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Our Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (PEAs) identify potential ecological issues early on in the planning process, or help to demonstrate that ecology does not present a material constraint where further survey work is unnecessary. PEAs typically comprise desk and/or an extended Phase 1 habitat survey. Our concise reports outline any potential for ecological constraints and include recommendations to ensure legislative and planning policy compliance, enabling a smooth planning application. As ever, our objectives are to provide clear, robust advice and to facilitate the planning process.

We have comprehensive experience of EcIA across the public and private sectors, delivering professional high quality ecology chapters, supported by robust documentation and providing transparent compliance with planning policy and legislation. We regularly work within large multidisciplinary EIA teams, and provide bespoke documents and graphics tailored to complement your project Environment Statement.
The European Union (EU) Habitats Directive provides protection for Natura 2000 sites (SPAs, SACs and Ramsar designations). Assessing the potential effects of a project on these internationally important sites is a complex process, and markedly different to an EIA. We provide timely advice, negotiation support, data interpretation and documentation to inform the Screening and Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) process where developments may impinge on such designations. Our work has been widely recognised by regulators and we provide this service to both developers and to local authorities.

Environment Statements for wind farms should include a quantitative estimate of collision risk for all bird species present on the site. We have extensive experience undertaking Collision Risk Modelling (CRM) for our wind farm projects to determine the species and level of risk and will work with the project team to minimise this risk through scheme design and the incorporation of mitigation measures, as required.

We pride ourselves on building strong relationships with key organisations, including statutory regulators, local authorities and NGOS, providing focused and balanced inputs to help find workable solutions. We understand the perspective and priorities of key organisations, and achieve client goals by working closely with consultees. As well as complex negotiations and technical briefings, we provide suitably worded text for information boards or briefing notes and regularly participate in public meetings.
Our Expert witness services have been provided for European protected sites and species, ornithology, mitigation, and habitat creation for renewable energy, roads and landfill projects. However our support starts well before any possible public inquiry, as we help you anticipate and address possible concerns, a
Requests for assessment under the BREEAM scheme are increasing, and suitable ratings under this scheme is often required as part of a planning condition or as a funding requirement. Avian Ecology personnel are able to fulfil the requirements for a Suitably Qualified Ecologist (SQE) under the BREEAM scheme and regularly undertake surveys and advise clients on how to maximise credit points for Land Use and Ecology. We are also able to prepare Management Plans and provide on-site supervision and/or monitoring as part of project implementation.
We provide a comprehensive mitigation service, from project conception all the way through licence applications, detailed design and full implementation. We frequently promote reasonable avoidance measures (RAMs) for mitigation, but also undertake translocation of sensitive species under licence to ensure a development fulfils legislative compliance. We have also successfully implemented great crested newt District Level Licensing (DLL) on several projects. Drawing on our experience on a wide array of projects in different sectors across the UK, we can help you incorporate cost-effective and sustainable mitigation and enhancement solutions into your project.
Avian Ecology can assist you in discharging planning conditions for a consented project, whether this requires further clarification through reporting, detailed surveys and monitoring, or mitigation and habitat design. Our aim is to ensure the conditions are discharged fully and efficiently when required to achieve programme and full ecological objectives, without leaving you with unachievable obligations.
Our work includes designing for extensive biodiversity gains through sustainable land management, often provided as part of a positive planning strategy which promotes biodiversity benefits. Our plans reflect stakeholder advice and deliver real biodiversity benefits over the long term. We have particular experience in delivering habitat enhancements for solar parks, wind farms, road schemes and large scale housing developments through the use of the Defra Biodiversity Net Gain metric and accompanying Biodiversity Management Plans.
We understand how vital it is to present information clearly and accurately. Our specialist GIS personnel use industry leading software and standardised techniques to interrogate data and represent ecology survey results on plans. Our field surveyors use precision equipment to locate and map ecological features so that it can be accurately represented. Data presentation includes detailed habitats mapping and specialised applications, such as ornithology flight-line mapping or bat surveys. All our reports include professional, easy to understand, graphics and data for clients and regulators.

Our Recent Planning Services Work