It is a statutory requirement for local authorities to consider the ecological impact of developments, but often potential developers may be unaware of potential ecological implications of a development until after a planning application has been submitted. This can lead to costly delays for developers or householders, greater impacts on wildlife populations, and a reduction in biodiversity.
The Partnership for Biodiversity in Planning has launched a Wildlife Assessment Check tool to help householders and small developers to check what sort of ecological surveys they might need, and to advise on the ecological implications of any proposed development. It also aims to support local planning authorities who lack in-house ecological capacity. This tool can be used at an early stage in the planning process, before an application has been submitted, and can help developers to foresee any potential development implications and advise on potential ways to improve the development proposals to enhance areas for wildlife and for people.