Ecological Impact Assessments
At Northern Insight Ecology, we have experience of working on small residential developments to large road and rail infrastructure schemes, providing clients with ecological surveys and impact assessments to support planning applications.
Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA)
A PEA is normally the first survey to be undertaken on a development site, the survey methodology is designed to record and map the baseline ecological conditions of a site, including the presence or likely presence of protected species. Subsequently, additional surveys can be recommended, if required.
Features of a PEA include:
Desk-top study, which looks for records of protected species and habitats that are available online or provided by biological records centres and protected species groups, that may relate to the study area or nearby;
A walkover Phase 1 Habitat survey, which is valuable means of identifying habitat types present; and
A protected species assessment of suitable features within the study area.
Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA)
An EcIA consists of an investigation designed to evaluate the Impact (Actions) resulting in changes to an ecological feature, for example, the demolition of a house. Effect (Outcome) to an ecological feature from an impact, for example, the effects on a local bat population from the loss of a roost site within the house that was demolished. An EcIA can take the form of a stand-alone investigation or form part of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
An EIA is a formal process that ensures the environmental effects of a proposed development are investigated, understood and considered before they proceed. This has been brought into practice through various statutory regulations, which govern the assessment process and specify which projects require an assessment to be undertaken.
Whilst, an EIA process covers a range of environmental issues including water quality, noise, landscape etc; ecological issues including habitats and protected species, constitute an important part of the procedure. During the course of undertaking an EIA investigation, effectual consultation with both statutory and non-statutory nature conservation bodies and other interested parties is required.