Preliminary Ecological Appraisal and Ecological Impact Assessments

Preliminary Ecological Appraisals can be conducted by BEC Consultants staff at an early stage in the planning process. These appraisals are based on a desk survey of available information together with a brief walkover survey. The purpose of a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal is to inform a developer or design team about the key ecological constraints associated with a project, what mitigation measures may be necessary, any additional surveys that may be require, and opportunities there may be for ecological enhancement. In the majority of cases additional surveys are required and the findings can be used to inform an Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA). Preliminary Ecological Appraisal Reports are prepared following the Guidelines for Preliminary Ecological Appraisal prepared by the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Managers (CIEEM) in 2018.

Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) is a process of identifying, quantifying and evaluating the potential effects of development on the local ecology. The findings can assist the planning authorities in understanding ecological issues and in determining applications. An EcIA can be undertaken for the appraisal of projects of any scale and are not a statutory requirement in themselves, but can be undertaken as part of an EIAR and would then be subject to the relevant regulations. EcIAs prepared by BEC Consultants follow the Guidelines for Ecological Impact Assessment in the UK and Ireland prepared by the (CIEEM) in 2018.

The key elements of the EcIA process are:

  • Scoping, including consultation with stakeholders and compliance with policies and regulations,
  • Establishing the baseline ecological conditions,
  • Identifying important ecological features,
  • Assessment of potential impacts,
  • Mitigation, compensation and enhancement,
  • Conclusions on the overall ecological effects of the scheme

BEC Consultants have conducted a number of EcIAs for housing developments, industrial units and a number of infrastructural developments.