Our services are structured around the UK planning system, which incorporates the EU legislation. The legal and regulatory framework is complex, and our staff not only have their particular species and habitats expertise, but also have a good knowledge of the regulatory regime, and are thus able to advise our clients with confidence.
The services are described separately in each of the listed categories, and are structured to relate in some way to planning and development, whether work is advisable for due diligence during purchase, or required later by the local planning authority. The descriptions are an overview, so should you have a specific project in mind, please do not hesitate to contact us
Such surveys are not very expensive. A senior ecologist will visit the site, assess the likelihood of species present and write a short letter report, discussing any concerns you might have over the telephone. This can provide peace of mind for purchasers and minimise time spent negotiating a fair price.
Standard guidance is always followed in conducting these surveys, which usually comprise the following format:
- Desk Study – Existing records are requested from one of the many local/regional biological records centres. This helps set the ecological scene, allowing an assessment of the likely ecological issues for the site in question.
- Site Survey – A standard Phase 1 survey is undertaken (JNCC 2004), which aims to map the flora and habitats on the site. We extend this process to include an assessment of the habitats on site to support protected species.
- Report – A report is produced outlining our results, discussing any ecological issues that may be present on site. We then make recommendations to overcome these ecological issues.
By collecting robust information during the Phase 1 survey, JFA Environmental Planning ensures that not only is this sufficient to support a planning application, but that the results can also be used, where required, to inform a Code for Sustainable Homes (CfSH) / BREEAM assessment. This is by far the most efficient way to incorporate all the preliminary ecology work to support an application.
JFA Environmental Planning always note opportunities for ecological enhancement that can arise out of the development proposals. This follows current and emerging policy on biodiversity, and is also a CfSH requirement.
If CfSH assessment is incorporated into the initial baseline, then a detailed list of species found is prepared and recommendations for enhancement are included in the Phase 1 report.
When the baseline has been completed, either as part of the Phase 1 survey or as a separate exercise, then the CfSH/BREEAM full assessment can be completed.
The scoping report is agreed through the competent authority (usually the LPA) who contacts statutory consultees, such as the Environment Agency and Natural England, as well as their own officers. When the scope of the EIA has been agreed, further surveys may be required, usually for protected species or for semi-natural habitats of importance.
A full technical report is then prepared, which is appended to the main Environmental Statement (ES). This document summarises the findings of the Technical Appendices, which include all work for all areas that were included in the original scoping exercise.
Once submitted, the local planning authority has an extended period to consider the application and the EIA.
Producing an EIA is costly and time-consuming. As it is often avoidable, JFA Environmental Planning can assist an a client early on in “screening out” or “scoping out” and reduce both the time and the costs associated with the planning application process.
The report, called a Screening Request, needs to be supported by some basic preliminary assessment of likely significant impacts. For ecology, this is a Phase 1 survey. Following the survey a screening request can be made, and it would be comprehensive and include a summary of findings in other areas where likely significant impacts are unlikely.
The Screening Request asks the competent authority to screen out the application from the EIA process. If they fail to do so, they must present their reasons why. If the applicant is not satisfied with the response of the local planning authority, there is an appeal process whereby the DCLG reviews the Screening Request.
JFA Environmental Planning have undertaken a number of these and are happy to help clients if they wish to take this route.
This is similar to a screening request. However, it assumes that an EIA is required for an application, but seeks to limit the areas covered by the EIA. The process is similar to the Screening Request, but makes the case that certain areas need not undergo the EIA process as they will be unlikely to give rise to significant environmental impacts. The application and appeal process is similar to that for a Screening Request.
JFA Environmental Planning can undertake Phase 2 surveys across a range of species and groups and have long-experience of doing so. We ensure that the results accord with accepted methodology and our surveyors are suitably qualified for the species or habitats in question.
European Protected Species (EPS) licences are most commonly sought for all bats, common dormice, and great crested newts. There are a range of other EPS, but these are less likely to be found in areas where development is proposed. The licensing process is quite lengthy and requires that the applicant be well-informed on the constraints, timing and cost involved.
JFA Environmental Planning have considerable expertise in the application process, the licensing administration and the mitigation that follows, and can assist clients in this regard. However, the most important advice we provide to our clients is to avoid the requirement for a licence and to be absolutely sure that the data supports the need for a licence in the first place.
We provide a full range of services in both rural and urban contexts with a strong emphasis on the site context and sensitivity to site conditions. Our services are incorporated at all stages of the development process, from conception to practical completion.
Our Portfolio, accessed from the Home page, shows just a few examples of our work, but we have the expertise and in-house competencies to advise clients effectively in both the design and implementation of habitat creation, including budgeting and time-tables.
Management plans set out the objectives for management and timetables for delivery. They generally include a table of works and timings and can be useful to provide to site maintenance contractors.
Along with these we are able to provide costings for delivery which can be very useful to clients in preparing budgets.
Occasionally positions become entrenched and the appellant has to provide written and/or oral evidence at a planning hearing or formal public inquiry. JFA Environmental Planning are very experienced in doing this, and can assist appellant’s in presenting their case to help result in a favourable outcome.
JFA Environmental Planning can provide this for clients, as we have worked for many years in supplying input to the local plan process and understand the way to do this, and how to provide representation that best reflects the client’s requirement.
We have considerable experience in the production of landscape master plans and detailed layouts for residential developments. Our design work in healthcare has ranged from master planning and detailed design for a new build private hospital campus, through to planting plans for individual GP Surgeries.