What is a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal

A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA), should be your first step in evaluating a site. An Ecological appraisal will give you an overview of a site, which can help you understand the ecological conditions. This can include details of any habitats present, the presence of any protected species, or any other key ecological constraints which could affect your projects.

The two main elements of an ecological appraisal include an ecological desk study and an extended Phase 1 habitat survey.

“Michael of MJM Studio has been instrumental to gaining planning permission on my project. His industry knowledge and anticipation of what was required have delivered a scheme which fulfils all the requirements of not only myself as the client but also of a very particular design review panel. Recommend without hesitation.”

- Mike Leary

When is a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal Required?

If a development has the potential to impact biodiversity on a site, an ecological assessment of the site will usually need to be carried out. Preliminary ecological appraisals should be carried out before the submission of planning applications. We would advise that pre-application discussions with the local planning authority are undertaken to find out if an ecological survey is required.

When considering a planning application, the local planning authority will consider the impacts of the development on the environment and biodiversity of an area. It will also consider the presence of any notable species or habitats on the site.

MJM Studio can assist your project by undertaking ecological desk studies, as well as extended phase 1 habitat surveys.

Ecological Desk Study: MJM Studio provide an ecological desk study service, obtaining records and data on designated sites. We undertake research on legally protected sites, such as priority habitats and Sites of Special Scientific Interest and obtain records on protected species within the area of the site. We can then provide printed or interactive maps using GIS using the data provided.

Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey: Using extended phase 1 habitat surveys, we can identify key ecological issues. We can also provide advice on how to best resolve the ecological issues identified.

We use the extended phase 1 habitat survey technique to map habitats present on-site, and within the surrounding area. We record any evidence of priority and protected species on-site and assess the potential of the site for these species.

We can provide advice on ecological issues encountered, and measures which can be taken throughout the development design to mitigate and avoid ecological impacts.

We can also assist with ecological impact assessments and protected species surveys.

We work with self builders, architects and developers nationally and provide a turn key service of ecology, biodiversity net gain and landscape design to improve the environment and spaces in which we live.


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