why hire an architect

Environmental considerations

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Where you live affects how much you need to think about the environment, wildlife and natural habitat around you. If your home is surrounded by fields and trees, the greater chance of biodiversity, therefore more environmental considerations required. Even in urban areas and cities, there is often an abundance of nature and you will find protected species. Check that the plans you have for your own home don’t disturb someone else’s.

Environmental considerations

Whether you’re a feeder of birds or a destroyer of slugs, there are laws protecting the natural world. So, make sure you understand in advance whether there are any issues and ensure that you comply with local or national planning guidelines – before you apply for planning permission.

Habitat Surveys

Also known as PEA surveys – Preliminary Ecological Appraisals.  These are required for any site that includes or is adjacent to semi-natural habitats. You may need one if you are planning to construct on an area of a large suburban or rural garden. Also if you are adjacent to hedgerows or heartland or if there is a pond nearby. Do this as early as possible in the planning process, ideally before submitting any planning applications.

The survey will check for species of plant, animal or features of ecological interest. For example, some trees are protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). Even if your project does not need planning permission, you must not remove or even prune a tree with a TPO.

Do you need batman?

protected species Bats are one of the UK’s protected species, and it is illegal to harm them or disturb their habitats. They are not limited to rural areas and can be found in towns and cities. They often roost in pitched and tiled roofs and you may not even know they are there. If you are renovating, converting or modifying an older building, you may need to conduct a bat survey. This is usually undertaken if there is a ‘reasonable likelihood’ that bats are present. Your planning authority or architect might flag it up if they have had a similar experience in the area.

Avoid disrupting your building schedule

It’s worth commissioning a bat survey if there is even a small chance that bats are present where you intend to work. Do this as early as possible to avoid disrupting your building schedule. If an initial survey finds there is a high chance of bats present, the next part of the survey can only be done at certain times of the year. And if bats are discovered you may have to adapt your plans to protect them. For more useful information about environmental considerations and comprehensive advice, we recommend visiting Ecology by Design. They also have information on other protected species and whether you may need a PEA survey.   The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only, does not constitute professional advice and does not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any company or organisation. Readers should always seek professional advice before undertaking any action based on the information contained in this article. The author makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, or suitability of the information, products, services, or related graphics contained in the article for any purpose. 

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