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Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA)

Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA)

Once the project design has been finalised (following the identification of ecological constraints and opportunities during the Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, and the completion of any recommended habitats and species surveys), the potential impacts of a proposal on wildlife can be assessed. 

 

The Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) pulls together all of the above information and uses it to predict how wildlife will likely be affected by the proposals. The nature, scale and longevity of any potential impacts are identified (Impact Assessment), and a strategy to avoid, mitigate, or, as a last resort, compensate for these impacts is determined (Mitigation Strategy). The results of the assessment are presented as a report.

 

It is this Impact Assessment and Mitigation Strategy that will be of most use to the local planning authority when determining a planning application. This strategy details not only how wildlife will be affected, but crucially how nature will be protected and encouraged during the lifespan of the project. As every project affects its surrounding environment in different ways, the resulting mitigation strategy will be unique and tailored to each project.

 

In order to meet the requirements of the local planning authority, and successfully gain planning approval, nature must be left in a better state after the development or project than it was before. This is known as ‘Biodiversity Net Gain’. Biodiversity Net Gain values can be calculated, and these calculations are included within the Ecological Impact Assessment in order to demonstrate compliance with local planning policy. 

 

Stand-alone Biodiversity Net Gain calculations can also be provided for projects where the ecological value of a site is such that a full EcIA is not deemed necessary.

ECOLOGICAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

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