Ignoring ecology surveys can have a detrimental impact on the length of your planning project.
For instance, some bat surveys can only take place during June and August – not much help when you are trying to apply for planning permission for a barn conversion in October! [Link to ecology calendar courtesy of Five Valleys Ecology]
Because of this, we always recommend securing a Phase 1 habitat survey as early as possible in the project timetable. Phase 1 surveys can generally be taken year-round.
This initial survey can then feed into the design and masterplanning process, and allow for mitigation solutions to be designed in from the start. Such an approach can sometimes help avoid more complex full surveys. Natural England acknowledge that “the delays and costs incurred in undertaking additional surveys mean that they should only be requested where there is a reasonable likelihood of protected species being affected”.
At Plainview Planning we strongly believe in a ‘Parameter Plan’ approach to planning projects. Get the studies completed first, and then start designing. It should lead to a much smoother project.