BSG Ecology has been providing advice to Leicestershire County Council (LCC) for 15 years, working on over 200 projects during this period. A long-standing working relationship has resulted in a detailed understanding of the types of ecological issues that LCC can face when undertaking their own project work. Typical work includes building re-roofing and asbestos removal, through to small to medium scale developments that involve new classroom extensions and new-build projects.
BSG Ecology’s role in the projects
The majority of the work that BSG Ecology undertakes for LCC involves work at schools, where developments are proposed that could potentially result in impacts on protected species and where planning permission is often required.
We are generally initially commissioned to undertake preliminary ecological appraisals of sites to identify any ecological constraints or opportunities at an early stage. We liaise closely with the Council and the schools in order to gain full access to each site to enable a thorough survey and assessment to be undertaken. BSG ecologists undertake Extended Phase 1 Habitat Surveys that include a survey of the habitats and an assessment of the habitat features suitability to support protected species such as badger, great crested newt and reptiles. In addition, where appropriate, the buildings are assessed for their suitability to support bats and nesting birds and other protected and important species.
Where potential for bats is identified or features such as ponds are identified that could support great crested newt, we work closely with LCC to firstly determine if it is possible for impacts on these species to be avoided or reduced, and then if this is not possible we undertake further survey work so that the potential ecology constraints to the development can be identified.
Following completion of necessary survey work, we liaise with LCC to ensure that they are fully aware of the constraints and opportunities that the site provides in advance of the survey report being produced. A detailed ecological report is then produced for the site that provides details of the methods and results of the surveys and clearly sets out the requirements for mitigation, compensation and enhancement measures and the need for a European Protected Species Licence if bats and great crested newt are to be affected.
Our long standing working relationship with LCC enables us to provide effective, tailored, and timely advice that ensures both small and large scale projects can be undertaken whilst fully taking into account the presence of protected species.