MANCHESTER environmental consultancy REC has launched an ecology division to help guide developers through the planning process.
It is led by principal ecologist Neil Madden and will offer a range of services to support planning applications and environmental impact assessments, providing developers, local authorities.
Madden said: “The role of REC Ecology is basically to act as a mediator between statutory bodies such as Natural England and land developers, who might have planning applications affected by the presence of protected species. Our work is split into two phases – the first being a habitat survey to check for the presence of protected species at a proposed development location, and the second to seek a solution, such as relocation, if protected species are found.
“Many people are aware of high profile cases such as London Gateway or Heathrow Airport where planning applications have been held up by the presence of protected species such as the great crested newt, breeding birds or any of the UK’s 18 species of bat. Our job is to identify potential constraints as early as possible and provide practical solutions that meet the needs of the client and maintain the nature conservation interest of the site, ensuring the smooth flow of planning applications.”
The division is based at the Manchester office but will work nationally through 14 regional offices.
Image – Madden will help steer developers through the planning process.