Preliminary ecological appraisal

Preliminary ecological appraisal

At sites where wildlife habitats may exist planners may request a Preliminary Ecological Assessment. This is a broad brush assessment of whether protected species or habitats may be impacted and whether there are any other ecological issues to take into account.

P.E.A.s are also known by many other names, including:

·       Extended Phase 1 habitat survey

·       Walkover survey

·       Ecological appraisal

·       Ecological constraints survey

If the P.E.A. report indicates that protected species etc may be present it may recommend further survey work is necessary, focussed on those species. For example, the likely presence of bats, badgers, red squirrels or great crested newts may lead to further survey being necessary. If the P.E.A. is being carried out for a planning application and further surveys are recommended then they will normally be needed before the application can be determined by the local planning authority.

A P.E.A. is different from an Ecological Impact Assessment (Ec.I.A.), which is a more in-depth piece of work, usually carried out for large development sites. Often it will form a chapter within an Environmental Impact Assessment (E.I.A.), which will also consider broader issues such as noise pollution and visual impact.

Although a P.E.A. can be carried out at any time of year, clearer results are likely in Scotland between mid April and late October. It is best to commission a P.E.A. early in the life of a project, in case other survey work is required afterwards. Our skilled ecologists at David Dodds Associates carry out many P.E.A.s every year and will be happy to discuss your site with you and advise on possible outcomes.

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If you have any questions about bats or other protected species, what to do about organising a survey or general information, we welcome your enquiry.
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Thank you for your help in doing the survey, and the speed of your response. Charlotte seemed very knowledgable. She was very helpful and happy to respond to our questions! Your report gave us all the answers we needed.

Chris Gunstone, Tyninghame Village Hall Committee, East Lothian