Ecology Consultancy Services to Local Authorities

Ecology Consultancy Services to Local Authorities

Baker Shepherd Gillespie (BSG) has worked with local authorities for fourteen years, developing an extensive portfolio. Over this time our nationwide team of over thirty ecologists has widened and deepened its understanding of local authority needs in an ever-changing administrative, funding and policy environment.

We are working closely now with local authorities through times of increasing demands on local resources and close scrutiny of public finances to ensure delivery of value for money. Using our understanding of the requirements of local authorities and the demands placed upon them, we can offer targeted assistance to help ensure that ecological obligations and requirements continue to be met.

We provide ecological expertise and experience, across a range of technical disciplines and at various levels. Importantly, we offer a flexible service that can be tailored to meet specific needs and budgets, which may range from the provision of one-off assistance to more regular inputs. Specific areas where BSG can provide assistance to local authorities include:

• Provision of a comprehensive suite of ecological surveys for habitats and species.

• Advice to help local authorities meet their biodiversity duty as set out within the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006.

• Development control advisory services, including the ecological appraisal of planning applications, use and interpretation of PPS9, TAN 5, and other policy /legislation, and technical review of ecological impact assessment chapters of environmental statements.

• Advice and guidance on the preparation and/or interpretation of assessments carried out under The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010.

• Preparation of screening templates for protected species to assist non-ecologist staff to carry out basic site appraisals.

• Assistance with resolving ecological conflicts that might arise when a local authority is exercising its other duties and responsibilities.

• Preparation and delivery of bespoke training for you and your team on key aspects of ecology, such as legislation and planning policy guidance, protected species issues, biodiversity planning, or wildlife site surveys, selection and management.

• Guidance on the application of Natural England’s new Standing Advice.

• Preparation of biodiversity checklists tailored to your area and local Biodiversity Action Plan.

• Provision of ecological input to emerging Local Development Frameworks, including site allocation, identification of site restoration, management requirements and representation at EIP.

• Expert witness representation at planning appeals, hearings and similar.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help, then please contact our Local Authority Lead, Kirsty Kirkham, the Director of our Derbyshire office: 01433-651869.

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