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Plans, tests and reports

Ecological surveys

An ecological survey is required when the proposed development has the potential to impact local plant and animal habitats. It assists us in determining whether the application will have an adverse effect on wildlife in the local area.  

We require a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) or an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey, which must be done by a qualified ecologist and have taken place  in the last two years.


Surveys are required for developments that meet the following criteria:

  • do not involve change of use for an existing building
  • located in or adjacent (within 5 metres of the designation boundary) to:
    • Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
    • National Nature reserve (NNR)
    • Local Wildlife Site (LWS) Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS)
    • Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
    • Special Protection Area (SPA)
    • RAMSAR site
    • Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)
  • where there is likely to be nationally or internationally protected species** (as listed on Natural England’s website and excluding bats) or their habitat (defined as a place where the protected species roost, breed or feed).
  • for major operational development, wind turbines, solar panels (ground based and non-domestic)

A full protected species survey will be needed when the Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA or an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey) asks for one.

Help and advice

We have created the below guidance document to help you through the ecological survey process. If you are submitting for a larger development, we suggest booking our pre-application service to advise on which surveys you might need.