D3 Demolition Tip: Ecology
The demolition of certain buildings will need approval from the local planning authority and if this is the case then the relevant authority will usually require some form of ecological appraisal prior to granting consent. In the very least this will take the form of a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal which is considered the minimum required by most local authorities. However, additional protected species surveys may also be required following this initial assessment and it is important to consider that these surveys can often have timing constraints which could result in considerable delays to your programme.
If you are thinking about demolition of your site and are going down the route of applying for Prior Notification of Proposed Demolition then there are a few important things for you to consider:
Protected species– many buildings and habitats on sites (even brown-field sites) can offer potential habitat for protected species including (but not limited to) bats, breeding birds, reptiles, badgers and amphibians;
Working methodologies– if protected species are identified on site then you may need to adapt your usual working methodologies by for instance, timing the works to outside the season when protected species are most likely to be present, using soft demolition methods, or by having an ecologist on site to supervise certain aspects of the work; and,
Licences– depending on the protected species present you may need to undertake works under a special licence which covers you against otherwise illegal activities i.e. a European Protected Species Licence for bats could be put in place in order to allow for the demolition of a building with a bat roost.
Whatever route to demolition of a site you are taking it is important to consider that demolition sites often provide habitat for protected species and if these are not considered prior to works commencing, you could be in breach of National and European legislation. This could lead to considerable fines and even a custodial sentence.
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