Client: Wellow Sports
Services: Extended Phase 1 habitat survey of land at Wellow, Bath to inform the construction of tennis courts.
Objective: Wellow Sports was seeking planning permission for the construction of two tennis courts and associated fencing, groundworks and lighting on the existing communally owned playing fields in the village of Wellow, near Bath. First Ecology were commissioned to undertake a desk study and site visit to identify any ecological constraints relating to the proposal and make recommendations, as necessary, to satisfy legislative and planning policy obligations.
Outcome: The combined results of the desk study and site visit suggested that no designated areas or legally protected species were likely to be impacted by the proposed tennis courts during their construction or operation. Precautionary mitigation was recommended to prevent harm to terrestrial mammals during the construction phase. However no further survey or compensation measures were considered necessary in order to ensure that the proposed development proceeded in accordance with UK legislation and planning policy requirements.
“First Ecology provided a very efficient speedy and concise response to our needs and the outcome was a positive planning permission”
Client: Mr & Mrs M, Churchinford
Services: Extended Phase 1 habitat survey of land prior to a change of use.
Objective: Mr & Mrs M, Churchinford were seeking planning permission for the change of use of an agricultural piggery building to a storage and workshop unit located on land near Churchinford, Somerset. First Ecology were commissioned to undertake a desktop study and site visit to identify any ecological constraints relating to the proposal and make recommendations, as necessary, to satisfy legislative and planning policy obligations.
Outcomes: The desktop study showed an absence of statutory designated areas and protected species within the site, however the site visit identified several standard Phase 1 habitat types which were considered suitable to be utilised by badgers, bats, breeding birds and reptiles. In consultation with the client it was agreed that trees and hedgerows would be retained or replaced; negative impacts to common amphibians, reptiles and terrestrial mammals including badgers would be avoided by adhering to ecologically sensitive working methodologies; and compliance with legislation relating to breeding birds would be achieved by monitoring potential nesting habitat prior to the development. Furthermore, works to change the use of the agricultural piggery were scheduled to take place in the period from October to February inclusive when bats were highly unlikely to be roosting in the building.
“We were very pleased with the professional approach First Ecology took to all aspects of this matter. Both the factual evidence uncovered and the helpful recommendations suggested resulted in planning consent.”
Client:Somerset County Council
Services:Extended Phase 1 habitat survey in relation to the construction of a full size artificial turf pit.
Objective: Bishop Fox’s School was intending to construct a full size artificial turf pitch (ATP) within the northern section of the school grounds, located on Bishop Fox Drive, Taunton.
Outcome:The desktop study showed that no designated areas or recorded legally protected species of plants and animals were likely to be impacted by the proposed ATP. During the site visit, the pitch site was confirmed to comprise entirely of intensively managed amenity grassland with negligible ecological value. Therefore no further survey or compensation measures were considered necessary in order to ensure that the proposed development proceeded in accordance with UK legislation and planning policy requirements.
Client: Strongvox Homes Ltd
Services:Extended Phase 1 habitat survey in relation to the development of land at Ellicombe, Minehead.
Objective: Stongvox Homes Ltd, were seeking planning permission for the development of a 37 unit housing estate in Ellicombe, Minehead, Somerset.
Outcome: The desk study showed an absence of statutory and non-statutory sites within or adjacent to the site but a single waterbody with terrestrial habitat connectivity to the site, within a 50m radius. A total of nine standard Phase 1 habitat types were identified which are known to be utilised by protected species of bats, birds, reptiles, and also badgers and hazel dormice; although direct evidence observed on site only confirmed badger activity. Precautionary mitigation was recommended for badgers and breeding birds and further surveys were undertaken for great crested newts, dormouse and reptiles to establish presence / likely absence and if necessary, relative population size.
The results of these surveys indicated the likely absence of great crested newts and hazel dormice within the site and therefore no further action was required in relation to these species. However two species of reptile were found to be present and therefore measures were agreed to mitigate the likely negative impacts including the retention and protection of suitable habitat and the sensitive clearance of sub-optimal areas of grassland.
Client: Summerfield Developments
Services: Environmental Statement (ES) and Ecological Impact Assessment (EIA) report updates
Objective: Updates to existing Environmental Statement and Ecological Assessment Reports in preparation for the submission of a new Outline Planning Application for development of land at Westpark, Wellington.
Outcomes: First Ecology undertook a site visit to update the findings of the existing ES and EIA reports. This revealed that a dormouse bridge conditioned as part of a Natural England mitigation licence had not been installed. However in consultation and negotiation with the original ecological provider, the Local planning authority and Natural England the issue was resolved without the need to renew the European Protected Species mitigation licence or install the bridge.