Harris Lamb’s Ecology Team is working with developers to avoid costly delays to planning applications by providing advice on great-crested newts.
Developers seeking to submit planning applications in 2019 are being advised to check their sites for proximity to ponds before April and seek ecology surveys rather than experience delays to their proposals.
Dr Holly Smith, who heads up the consultancy’s Environment Department, said: “If there are ponds within 500 metres of a site boundary, there’s a possibility that great-crested newt surveys will need to be undertaken and submitted alongside a planning application.
“With the annual core survey window being limited to April and May, that leaves applicants around 10 weeks to request and implement such surveys, or miss the opportunity for another 12 months.
“While the presence of great-crested newts can delay a development, failure to carry out the necessary ecology surveys within the permitted timescales can be a costly impediment to developers who have a clear schedule of works and completion dates, as development can be halted until the appropriate checks can be made.”
The team is currently providing a complementary service for clients, whereby it will review sites and identify ecology survey-timing requirements ahead of applications being made and works being commenced.
For advice, contact Holly at firstname.lastname@example.org