Designing in biodiversity can save time and money

Thomson Ecology is frequently contracted to undertake Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIAs) to support our clients’ planning applications. For major development projects, these assessments form a part of the overall Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project and are incorporated into the Environmental Statement (ES) submitted in support of the planning application.

Often we are provided with a Masterplan and Parameter Plans for the assessment after these have been fixed by the design team. This means that, if we identify that ecological mitigation is required, it can require significant changes to the plans which can result in further time and costs to revise the design and layout. It can also have knock-on effects for other elements of the project and result in delays to the submission of the planning application.

Countryside Properties Plc has taken a different approach and employed Thomson Ecology as part of its project team to work collaboratively with all the other project consultants in the design and layout of a major new settlement for 3,500 homes in Cambridgeshire.

As part of this process we were commissioned to undertake an Ecological Constraints and Opportunities Plan (ECOP) as recommended in BS42020:2013. This ECOP has identified all of the ecological constraints for the design and layout and the many opportunities for ecological enhancement which can be incorporated into the final design. This will result in significant savings of time and costs in undertaking the ecological assessment for the ES and greater certainty that the final design and submitted planning application will be compliant with the relevant law and policy on biodiversity.

If you would like to speak to us about how we can help you ensure your development project is designed for biodiversity, please email us or call 01483 466000.

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