Protected species and the planning process

The presence of a protected species on your land could affect your planning application

The potential for or the actual presence of protected species and/or priority habitat could affect your Planning Application and/or the construction of your development. Our Ecologist can visit your site to assess if you require an Ecology Assessment by a suitably qualified expert to support your Planning Application.

Visits generally require an hour to complete. Bat assessments will require access into your property as the loft area needs to be assessed. Other species are more associated with the surrounding area of the property, so the inspection will be concentrated outside.

The below information is provided to help you consider if you should use our service.

How might protected species affect my planning application?

If there is evidence, or a reasonable likelihood of a protected species and/or priority habitat being present on site then you will need to submit a supporting ecological assessment with your planning application.

You may have to make changes to your proposal if there is a protected species on your site, this is why it’s important for our Ecologist to carry out a survey as soon as possible, and ideally prior to plans being drawn.

Protected Species

Some species are given special protection through UK and European legislation, and must be given consideration as part of the planning application process.

If protected species or habitats are present, we must be satisfied that detrimental effects can be avoided, mitigated or compensated for. Where permission is granted it may be necessary to incorporate safeguards either as part of the scheme, as a condition, and/or by legal agreement. In Aylesbury Vale, the key protected species could include the below, and other species that have a strong hold in the area should also be checked for:

  • Adder
  • Grass snake
  • Badger
  • Great Crested Newt
  • Bats (all species)
  • Otter
  • Common lizard
  • Slow worm
  • Dormouse
  • Water vole

Sites and developments potentially affected

If your site or development matches any one of the below criteria, or you suspect or know protected species or habitats are present then it’s suggested that you request our Ecologist assesses your site prior to drawing plans or submitting a planning application:

  • Barn conversions
  • Bridges, underground structures, and tunnels
  • Change of use involving internal alterations of the roof structure
  • Demolition
  • Designated wildlife sites and hedgerows
  • Extensions within 150 metres of hedge, scrub, woodland, grassland or any waterbody including rivers streams, ponds, ditches, etc.
  • Loft conversions
  • New build on greenfield and brownfield sites
  • Within 10 metres of a watercourse or 250 metres from a pond

If within 250m of a pond

Surveys in North Buckinghamshire show that Great Crested Newts can be present in 50% of ponds in suitable areas. Great Crested Newts spend the majority of their life on land within suitable terrestrial habitats such as woodland, hedgerows, rough grassland and scrub around and between ponds.

Applications are likely to require survey if they exhibit good connectivity to a pond with suitable habitat or in an area with records of Great Crested Newt, so would be likely to result in breaches of the legislation if Great Crested Newt are present on the development site.

Since 2018 an alternative option is provided across the South Midlands, including Aylesbury Vale, where NatureSpaceUK can provide assessment and mitigation for Great Crested Newts.

Further information

For Ecology advice, please email us

What is it?:

The Ecology Screening Visit is used to determine the presence of priority habitats and whether there is a reasonable likelihood of protected species at the site of the proposed development. Typically these visits are used to determine if household properties or agricultural buildings have the potential to support bats and their roosts, however other protected species such as barn owls or great crested newts can be covered.

How much will it cost:

£139 incl VAT for the first hour
£93 incl VAT each additional hour

What you get:

The service usually includes:

  • Upto one hour site visit
  • Written response following site visit