Most of us enjoy the wildlife in our local area. However, when it comes to extending your home, you probably won’t have these little critters on your brain - but you might be surprised by how important they can be!
Should your home be close to the habitat of a protected species, you may find there are limits to what you can do to your home. In order to find out how your project impacts the local environment, you may be asked to carry out an ecological survey during the planning stage.
To help you understand if this applies to your development and what it involves, we’ve put together this handy guide to walk you through the ins and outs.
Do I need an ecological survey?
A planning authority will typically ask for an ecological report if there’s a chance European Protected Species (EPS) might be living in the surrounding area.
Habitats that tend to be suitable haunts for these creatures tend to be…
- Timber-framed buildings or other traditional farm structures
- A large suburban or rural garden
- Any building that could be a habitat for bats, such as those with a large roof void, large roof timbers with joints and holes, or an uneven roof or wall covering with potential bat access points
- Lakes or watercourses on or adjacent to your site
- Nearby meadows, parkland, pasture or brownfield sites
- Ponds or ditches on or within 500 metres of your property
- Woodland, scrub or hedgerow which is on or nearby your home
- Close-by coastal habitats
- Features that may be used by wildlife, such as large or complex tree structures or caves
You will also need an ecological survey if there is an existing record of protected species within 2km of your site.