Get ecology advice before submitting a planning application

Our experts can offer specialist ecology advice as a standalone advice service, or as part of a wider planning pre-application service.

Pre-application advice

Larger or more complex development proposals can benefit from pre-application advice. This is a charged service which can include various specialists including ecology.

This can:

  • help you to understand any problems early on in the project and find a solution
  • reduce the time, cost and risk of dealing with issues later
  • ensure that any ecological surveys are carried out at the correct time of year to the required standards and help prevent delays in the development process

You should be aware that pre-application advice does not mean that your application will be approved.

Ecology screening visit

Householder or smaller development proposals can benefit from an ecology screening visit.

This service can:

  • help identify whether protected species or priority habitats are present or likely to be present
  • determine whether the development proposals are likely to impact any protected species or priority habitats found
  • explain what further surveys or measures are required to support your planning application

You can request an ecology screening visit to check if these habitats or species could be at the site of your proposed development.

How it works

We normally visit household properties or agricultural buildings that may be a home for bats or nesting birds. However, other protected species such as barn owls and great crested newts can also be covered.

Habitats that can be screened include ponds, woodland or grassland.

If there is evidence or potential for protected species, or a priority habitat is present, you’ll need to:

  • submit a supporting ecological assessment with your planning application
  • consider changes to your proposal to reduce any harm to habitats or species

This is why it’s important for our ecologist to carry out a visit as soon as possible, and ideally before any plans are drawn.

Before you request a visit

Before you request a visit, check with ecologists if a screening visit would be appropriate.

To request ecology advice, email your local team:


A screening visit will cost £245 (including VAT).
Additional time is charged at hourly increments at an hourly rate of £112 including VAT.

What’s included

The visit usually includes:

  • a site visit of up to 1 hour
  • a written response, within 5 days of the site visit
Request now