Preliminary Ecological Appraisal

A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) is synonymous with a Phase 1 habitat survey and includes a protected species risk assessment. The aim of the PEA is to classify the habitats on and around the site and determine their value in supporting protected and notable species.

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When do I need a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal/ Phase 1 Habitat survey?

All developments, unless otherwise advised by the planning authority, should be supported by a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal.

What does the survey involve?

The PEA provides an overview of the habitats on site, the ecological value, signs/ presence of protected and notable species and outlines the potential impacts as a result of the proposed development/ works. This is usually completed by undertaking a walkover of the site and surrounding area to assess the habitats directly, and to also undertake a risk assessment for protected species. For further information on the specific species surveys and when these may be required, click the links below:

The survey will also identify any invasive species on site, most importantly those listed on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it an offence to cause the spread these species. Floral species include giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam, with faunal species including American mink and the American signal crayfish. For more information, please click here.

What will the report include?

The report documents the requirement, aims and objectives of the survey; the methodology including what species were surveyed for; the details of the desktop study (which may include obtaining biological records from the local records centre – we provide these at cost); the findings of the site survey and the potential impacts as a result of proposed works. The report will then outline appropriate recommendations to reduce, and where possible avoid, impacts during both the construction and operational phases of the work/ development (mitigation measures).

Recommendations will also include compensatory measures, to off-set impacts that can’t be avoided, and often enhancement opportunities to improve the biodiversity value of the site in the long-term.

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