Shinfield Junior School, Fast Track Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, Reading, Berkshire

Client: ECD Architects

Objective: Preliminary Ecological Appraisal prior to school extension works

Our completed Fast Track PEA report was with the client within five working days

The Project

ECD Architects commissioned the Ecology Consultancy to carry out a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) prior to extension works at Shinfield Junior School Berkshire. The client required a fast turn-around time to prevent delays at the planning stage. We were able to provide a rapid response through our Fast Track PEA service which meant our report was delivered to the client within five working days.

Outline proposals included the removal of two small buildings, an extension to the main school building, extension of an existing playground and expansion of a car-park, necessitating the loss of vegetation.

The Task

A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal comprising a Phase 1 habitat survey and protected, noteworthy and invasive species risk assessment was carried out. This included an assessment of any ecological constraints applying to the proposed development and the provision of recommendations for protecting and enhancing the wildlife value of the site.

Our protected species risk assessment identified medium potential for roosting bats on one of the buildings to be demolished and high potential for breeding birds in the surrounding hedges and trees, including song thrush, a Wokingham Borough Biodiversity Action Plan priority species and red-listed bird of conservation concern.

The Solution

We recommended provision of additional wildlife habitat across the site. This included the creation of four new bat roosting opportunities on semi-mature trees bordering the site. In addition, it was recommended that attention was paid to lighting and the retention of foraging and roosting habitat

To provide habitat for amphibians and invertebrates such as stag beetle, we recommended the creation of log piles using any woody material cleared from the site. We also detailed how areas of grassland could be enhanced through the addition of a suitable wildflower grassland seed mix and relaxed management.

Other opportunities for enhancement were identified to improve the biodiversity of the site, in line with Policy TB23 within the Wokingham Borough Development Plan (2014).

The Outcome

Our fast response times meant we were able to get an ecological consultant out on site quickly which resulted in the completed report being issued to the client within five working days, preventing any further delays to the project.

Our Fast Track Preliminary Ecological Appraisal service is designed to provide our clients with fast, high quality ecological surveys and reports when time may be critical. Find out more about the Fast Track PEA Service and our rapid report turnaround times, click here.

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