Preliminary Ecological Appraisals

Preliminary Ecological Appraisals

Preliminary ecological apprasials or phase 1 surveys are required for a number of reasons. You may have been asked by a local planning authority, architect, or county ecologist. Phase 1 PEAs are usually the basic starting point for most ecology consultancy services.

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PRELIMINARY ECOLOGICAL APPRAISALS AND PHASE 1 SURVEYS.

Preliminary Ecological Appraisals, also known as Phase 1 surveys, are usually the basic starting point for most ecology consultancy services of new development sites. Often they are required as part of planning applications prior to permission been approved.

You may have seen the Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (PEAs) process mentioned on other ecology consultancy websites as the only starting point. However, let’s clear things up from the start, they advertise this to ‘bump’ the cost on your phase 1 survey.

Not all development works require a FULL PEA.

Preliminary Ecological Appraisals include a full site assessment for flora and fauna, roost assessments, habitat walkovers, and full biological records data searches costing between £150-500 from a third party.

In reality, for a small domestic development, a FULL Preliminary Ecological Appraisal is unrealistic and is way more than what your local planning office requires. Usually, a simple bird and bat roost assessment or habitat walkover is more than sufficient, saving our clients £££s in fees and time.

All Phase 1 surveys can be carried out year-round.

our guide to phase 1 surveys
   
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bat roost assessments

Roost Assessments

From just £348

Preliminary roost assessments or scoping surveys are the initial phases of any bird, barn owl, or bat survey process. An experienced member of our team will undertake an initial site visit during daylight hours to determine the possibility of roosting species. Roost assessments can be undertaken all year round.

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bat surveys

Habitat Walkover Surveys

From just £348

Using the Phase 1 Habitat Classification and associated field survey techniques, we provide a record of vegetation and wildlife habitats to identify what, if any, disturbance will be caused by development. For small scale projects, a habitat walkover is usually more than sufficient.

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bat mitigation

Preliminary Appraisals 

From just £498

Usually only required for larger projects, such as housing developments or change of land use, the full Preliminary Ecological Appraisals, cover all the notes in a habitat walkover plus detailed biological records, steps to meet UK Biodiversity Action Plans and detailed mapping.

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Chase Ecology is an independent specialist ecology consultancy for both domestic and commercial clients across a range of sectors throughout the UK. Over the years, we have build up fantastic relationships with local planning authorities for a fast and efficient process, meaning we’re always happy to consult with your local county ecologist or planning officer and statutory agencies for a quick and successful planning application. Our speedy, honest, reliable, and common sense approach means we’ve become of the UK’s leading protected species experts. Our personal approach means we are here to help with any advice with a simple phone call.

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PRELIMINARY ECOLOGICAL APPRAISALS

So, you have put in your planning application and the local planning authority or your architect has stated a preliminary ecological appraisal or phase 1 habitat surveys are required. You probably have a few questions.

Preliminary Ecological Appraisals, also known as Phase 1 surveys, are usually the basic starting point for most ecology services of new development sites. Often they are required as part of planning applications prior to permission been approved.

But not all surveys require full preliminary ecological appraisals, usually for a small domestic development, a FULL Preliminary Ecological Appraisal is unrealistic and is way more than what your local planning office requires. Usually, a simple bird and bat roost assessment or habitat walkover is more than sufficient, saving our clients £££s in fees and time.

To help you understand why you’ve been asked to undertake preliminary ecological appraisals and why they are important, we’ve put together what is probably the most comprehensive guide to phase 1 habitat surveys available online. We hope this guide answers everything there is to know about PEAs.

PHASE 1 ROOST ASSESSMENTS

For most planning permission applications or development projects involving bats, birds, or barn owls, it is appropriate to start with a Phase 1 roost assessment survey also known as a Preliminary Roost Assessment or Scoping Survey.

Preliminary Roost Assessments involve an initial internal and external inspection of a building or habitat to identify the potential for species roosting or feeding.

As well as an assessment of the building and surrounding habitat to support said species, a phase 1 survey may require a data records search. Meaning, records such as known roosts/nests, previous mitigation sites, and the location of Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Local Nature Reserves (LNR) are obtained.

If the building itself does not show evidence or potential of nests or roosts then this information can sometimes be enough to provide an assessment of whether species are likely to be present on-site and whether they are likely to be impacted upon by the development.

After the data is collected your ecologist will compile a detailed report outlining any further steps, if any, that may be required.

PHASE 1 HABITAT WALKOVER SURVEYS

Phase 1 habitat walkovers are generally a scoping exercise with the aim of detailing any flora or fauna species of value at your site.

Our ecology team will undertake an initial site visit during daylight hours to determine the habitats present on your site, and whether any species will be affected by your development. They will also highlight any invasive species, which may be having a detrimental effect on the site’s biodiversity.

Using the Phase 1 Habitat Classification and associated field survey techniques, we then provide a record of vegetation and wildlife habitats within your report and highlight any further survey effort which may be required.

Habitat walkovers can be undertaken year-round.

PRELIMINARY ECOLOGICAL APPRAISALS

Usually, an extended phase 1 PEA or preliminary ecological appraisals is a starting point for larger developments.

Using guidance from the methodology set within The Joint Nature Conservation Committee’s 2010 publication ‘Handbook for Phase 1 Survey‘, we use a standardised method of appraising your development site for the presence of flora and fauna of all types. By categorisation of various habitats at your site, it means your report should contain roughly the same information (or at least refer to the same data collected) no matter who undertakes the survey.

Our preliminary ecological appraisals also include detailed biological records (purchased from your local records centre), along with steps on how to meet UK Biodiversity Action Plans and detailed mapping.

Preliminary Ecological Appraisals can be undertaken year-round.

HOW MUCH DO PRELIMINARY ECOLOGICAL APPRAISALS COST?

Well, it’s hard to accurately say as it varies greatly. There are many factors to take into account.

Phase 1 preliminary roost assessments and habitat walkover surveys range from £348. Fees depend on the location of the development, and size or complexity of the site.

A full preliminary ecological appraisal starts at £498 and depends largely on the fee charged by your local biological records centre.