CSA provided Ecology, Landscape and Urban Design input – a success all round. Working alongside our Landscape and Urban Design colleagues, ecological constraints were considered from the outset in the production of a sensitive layout design.
Great crested newts (GCN) were found to be established and breeding in several local ponds close to the field where the new housing scheme was proposed. CSA undertook a range of wildlife surveys for protected species such as bats and reptiles on-site; as well as for great crested newts which shelter and forage in the terrestrial environment outside the breeding season. To develop sensible mitigation strategies to avoid and mitigate for possible effects on these protected newts, an Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) was undertaken and a report compiled as part of the planning application, including the requirement for a Natural England licence. The development scheme was designed to keep and improve existing habitats, but also to create new habitats such as a carefully thought out wildlife pond, to be managed specifically to benefit great crested newts known to be in the area. A significant wildlife buffer was also incorporated into the scheme to form a wide biodiversity corridor to ensure the retention and enhancement of the existing GCN dispersal routes between breeding ponds.