Biodiversity Checklist Assessment

What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity is the variety, variability, and the sum of all life forms on earth. Biodiversity encompasses the diversity of lifeforms on many different levels and the relationships between these lifeforms and their habitats. The earth’s biodiversity is its most valuable and most necessary resource, and should be protected at all costs.

To protect the earths biodiversity, designated sites of nature conservation importance, protected species, priority habitats, priority species and other natural heritage interests are all material considerations in the determination of planning applications. The degree to which these features may be impacted by a development proposal and any appropriate mitigation measures which may avoid, reduce or offset any impacts must be considered by the relevant planning authority before any planning permission can be granted.

The Strategic Planning Policy Statement for Northern Ireland (SPPS)1 and Planning Policy Statement 2: Natural Heritage (PPS2)2 set out planning policies for the protection of natural heritage interests in the Northern Ireland planning system.

AVRIO recommend consideration of all biodiversity issues at the earliest possible stage of a project preparation/design to allow any necessary mitigation to be ‘built-in’ to the project and ensure a streamline planning application process.

The carrying out of any appropriate ecological assessments or surveys at an early stage will minimise the potential for any future delays in planning application processing, such as through requests for additional information which would be particularly relevant when there are seasonal constraints to survey work which could significantly delay any decision being made.

AVRIO can review all planning applications and proposals to consider biodiversity at the earliest possible stage, and if required complete and submit a biodiversity checklist or other ecological assessments with a planning application, to assist planning authorities making decisions in a timely manner.