Case study: Phase 1 Habitat Surveys

Pond

Mille Park Farm is a site where we recently under­took a phase 1 habi­tat sur­vey.  The client was look­ing to con­struct an extra three tim­ber lodges as part of a small hol­i­day com­plex, and plan­ners had requested a phase 1 sur­vey.  The sur­vey is intended to map habi­tat types, high­light any issues and indi­cate solu­tions as nec­es­sary.  By law all new plan­ning appli­ca­tions now have to show either no effect or an improve­ment in bio­di­ver­sity will result from the planned work.

Our site visit and sur­vey revealed a lovely site, where the owner had for many years encour­aged wildlife, includ­ing a wide range of native tree and shrub plant­ing and also the con­struc­tion of two quite large ponds, which have become a haven for wildlife.  As well as a site sur­vey, phase 1 reports also have to con­sider his­tor­i­cal data and any des­ig­na­tions that may be rel­e­vant to the ecology.

Our sur­vey high­lighted the need to pro­tect the exist­ing aquatic habi­tats, and was able to pro­vide an out­line method for achiev­ing this.  We also included pro­pos­als for some addi­tional tree plant­ing, to link together exist­ing areas of wood­land, and improve the stream val­ley as a wildlife cor­ri­dor.  This was some­thing that the client was likely to do, and fit­ted in with pre­vi­ous land­scap­ing on the site.  Else­where a small amount of clear­ance of over­grown shrub beds was brought for­ward on our advice, to avoid dis­tur­bance to nest­ing birds.

Early advice is often essen­tial to help achieve a smooth appli­ca­tion and meet cur­rent legal require­ments, and can often save later cost and delays.  We often work with Rolfe Plan­ning Part­ner­ship, a spe­cialised local plan­ning con­sul­tancy to achieve this outcome.

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