Ecological survey work comprising a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, followed by Phase 2 surveys for bats (walked transects and static monitoring), dormice and reptiles was undertaken by Acorn Ecology. The bullet points below summarise the survey results and the measures that were implemented to avoid, mitigate and compensate for impacts.
- Dormice were found to be present in the hedgerows and a European Protected Species Licence was required from Natural England in order to remove the 68 m of hedgerow without committing an offence. Works were carefully timed to minimise impacts on dormice. To compensate for impacts provision of nest boxes and native hedge planting was required.
- At least six bat species were found to use the site for foraging and commuting, and a sensitive lighting plan was designed to minimise lighting on the surrounding hedgerows as some species avoid lit areas.
- A small breeding population of both grass snake and slow worm were found on site. A corner of the site was designated as a receptor site (see photo) and the animals were translocated to this habitat in advance of the development commencing in order to avoid killing or injuring of reptiles.
- Other measures were put in place to avoid harm to badgers and nesting birds during the construction phase.
All of these measures were included in a Biodiversity Mitigation and Enhancement Plan for the site, along with measures to enhance the site in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Enhancement measures included installation of house sparrow boxes, swift boxes and bat tubes.