Preliminary ecological appraisal

Preliminary Ecological Appraisals

Preliminary Ecological Appraisals are often required as part of the planning process prior to a development being approved. Our ecologists can help you

Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (PEAs) establish baseline conditions and evaluate the importance of any ecological features present (or those that could be present) within the specified site, as far as possible.

With  regard  to  habitats  and  vegetation  PEAs follow Phase  1  Habitat  Survey  guidelines  as  set out by  the  Joint Nature Conservation Committee of the UK.

The Appraisal will:

  • gather  baseline  ecological  data  using Phase 1 Habitat Survey guidelines (JNCC 2010)
  • make recommendations for detailed  surveys where required
  • identify  key  constraints  to  the  project and  make  recommendations  for  design  options to  avoid  significant impact  on  important ecological features
  • identify any necessary mitigation measures
  • identify enhancement opportunities
  • aid site  management  plans  by  mapping out ecological features
  • inform any Code  for  Sustainable  Homes/BREEAM (Land use and ecology credits) reports

The  results of baseline appraisals will often  form the  basis  for more  detailed  or  specific ecological surveys,  and  for  the  setting  of  site management objectives.

The  PEA  can  be  used  as  a  standalone  report  or used  to  inform  an  outline  impact  assessment  or even a full Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA)/Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

It  is  important  to  note  that  most,  if  not  all, planning  applications  will  require  an  assessment of ecological effects. In most cases a  PEA  will  not  provide  all  of  the  information required by the regulatory bodies to determine a planning application, but it will be helpful in informing  a  developer  of  the key  ecological  constraints,  design  options, requirements  for further surveys and mitigation measures. It can also be useful in providing a basis for consultation with the determining authority and other stakeholders.

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