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Ecological Impact Assessment for Development
What is an Ecological Impact Assessment?
An Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) is a method of identifying, evaluating, and quantifying the potential impacts of development on the environment, including, habitats, protected species and ecosystems.
Local planning authorities will expect a number of ecological assessments to be carried out as part of a planning application.
An EcIA may be required as part of an application to obtain planning permission for a development project.
EcIA may form part of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which is a statutory requirement. The EcIA is subject to all relevant EIA regulations when it is undertaken as part of an EIA. An Ecological Impact Assessment is not required by law, however, it is a best practice evaluation process which may undertaken to support many types of assessments.
Ecological Impact Assessment – The Process
There are seven key elements which make up the process of an Ecological Impact Assessment. The key elements to the process include:
This initial stage involves gathering information on the proposed development site. This can include the ecology of the site and any relevant policies or legislation. The scoping stage usually involves carrying out a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal.
Detailed surveys may be required following the scoping exercise if it has been shown that the proposed development may have an impact on protected species or habitats. Planning around the protected species survey calendar is essential to avoid lengthy delays to the development.
An evaluation on the ecosystems and species present, and the importance of nature conservation on the site will be undertaken using the information collected in the previous stages.
An ecological impact assessment will be undertaken by interpreting the survey data to understand the positive and negative impacts of the development on the site.
Mitigation, Compensation and Avoidance
Measures to mitigate, reduce and avoid negative impacts will be proposed and planned at this stage.
Following the proposal of mitigation measures, the impact of the development on the site will be reassessed to uncover the final effect on biodiversity.
The results of the EcIA may be presented as a chapter within the Environmental Statement for the development. Key decision makers will be provided with all relevant information on the effects of the proposed development on the environment.
How Can Collington Winter Environmental Assist?
Collington Winter are IES Chartered Environmentalists. We offer Ecological Impact Assessments and provide ecological surveys to developers on all types of projects. We have worked on projects in England, Scotland and Wales, from Manchester and the North West, to London, Devon and Cambridge.
If you require any ecological advice or services, contact us using the form below. You can also contact our Ecology Director, Olivia Collington, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also offer Landscape Architecture Services to all locations of the United Kingdom.