The need to know in Hertfordshire!
A new year brings new opportunities, getting fit, a new job or building the house you have always wanted or extending the one you already have.
If it is the latter two and you live in Hertfordshire there is a mine-field of planning regulations that you will have to deal with. The most popular way of getting the planning permission you need is to employ an Architect or Planning Consultant. These two professions will have a wealth of knowledge in the planning system and often know how the planners in your area work, giving you a greater edge in getting that all important planning permission!
However one thing that tends to get missed or forgotten is Ecology. The number of times I am told at the 11th hour the client has been asked for an Ecology or bat survey is beyond me. Who knows why, but it happens and regularly!
In order to prevent delays, start thinking about ‘triggers’ for ecology or bats early in the process, does your home have vertical hung tile, weather boarding, gaps in the roof, a pond to name but a few? Are there woods, lakes, grassland nearby or rough ground nearby? Is your home in a leafy area? Etc. etc.
If you can answer yes to any of these it is likely that you will be asked to provide an ecology or bat survey for your planning permission. Hertfordshire planning authorities check planning applications for these ‘triggers’ and if present are very likely to ask for surveys.
The key to preventing delays and causing yourself problems from an ecological point of view is to consider it early. It’s no good waiting for the planning authority to ask you to do it, especially latter in the year, by this point some survey seasons have already closed.
For instance great crested newts Triturus cristatus have a very short survey window (March to June, with mid- April to mid – May being considered the prime period). If you put planning in around late May by the time you are asked for your survey (probably some six to eight weeks later) it is too late that year, causing a year long delay for no reason. The same can be said of bats, waiting until September is going to cause an issue if evidence or potential roosting opportunities are found. The survey season is from May to Sept, but the optimal is May to August, and at least two of three surveys have to be completed in the optimal period, meaning a delay of at least seven months from October onwards.
Frustrating I know, you have not budgeted for these costs, you have not considered the time delays and most of all you just didn’t know in the first place.
The point is don’t wait to be told you need ecology or bat surveys, it sometimes causes more problems than getting them done early and knowing where you stand.
Been asked for an ecology survey or bat survey in Hertfordshire? Need advice a survey or just to get your head around it all? Contact us today for your free quote here.