Preliminary Ecological Appraisal Case Study


Preliminary Ecological Appraisal

Chicken House - Preliminary Ecological Appraisal

AVRIO were appointed by a development company in Northern Ireland to undertake a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) as part of the planning application process for a proposed development entailing the construction of a free-range poultry unit with an associated meal silo and litter store.

The PEA aimed to:

  • Determine the ecological value of the site by:
    • Identifying and assessing the habitats and floral communities;
    • Assessing the potential for the site to support protected/notable species; and
  • Assess the ecological impacts of the proposal and recommend appropriate mitigation and enhancement measures.

This survey was undertaken by a member of the AVRIO ecology team. AVRIO’s ecology team are all members of the ‘Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), an organisation requiring peer review and a high standard of professional conduct.

A pre-survey search was undertaken of the application site and surrounding area to research the existing ecological status of the site. Subsequently, field surveys were carried out following standard methodology and best practice guidelines to identify the presence of any priority habitats and protected species within the subject site and in its immediate environs. Due to the nature of the habitats present within the site, consideration was given to the potential for the site to support bats, otter, badger and breeding birds.

The surveys concluded that the site is not located within a statutorily designated area and is dominated by species poor habitats. However, recommendations were provided for the appointed contractor to ensure any identified ecological sensitivities are protected during the construction works. Some of these recommendations included:

  • Retention and protection of NI priority habitat hedgerows at the site boundary;
  • Noise and vibration must be kept to a minimum at times when bats are active;
  • External lighting should be fitted with motion sensors and should not illuminate boundary vegetation such as hedgerows and treelines; and
  • All fuels must be stored within a bunded area to protect nearby watercourses.

The PEA report was submitted along with the planning application and the project has subsequently been approved by the relevant statutory bodies and is due to begin the construction phase.

This project was completed in a timely manner and within budget, and all related parties were satisfied with the outcome.