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Planning and Wildlife

If the development has the possibility of affecting the habitat of bats or great crested newts then you may be required to submit an assessment with your application.

Biodiversity means the rich variety of life - the superb range of plants and animals and the habitats in which they and we live. What has biodiversity got to do with development? Any building project, including alterations to existing buildings can affect wildlife, and in particular Protected Species such as bats and newts. Surveys may need to be supplied with applications please see the links below for more information.

Any development project, no matter how small or large, can make provision for some new features for wildlife. For example, if extending an existing house, include swift, swallow and house martin boxes on the house, or nestboxes on trees or outbuildings in the garden. Provide a pond in the garden, plant wildflowers or leave a wild area. On larger development projects retain existing wildlife features like hedges, ponds or meadow grassland, and add to what is already there to link those features together.

Failure to supply sufficient information relating the the effect of proposals on wildlife can cause significant delays in the planning process and may result in a refusal on the grounds of insufficient information.

pdf icon Please see the Council's guidance on supporting documents [36kb]

Click here to read Natural England services and guidance for protected sites and species

Uttlesford District Council is part of the Essex Biodiversity Project, which has produced interactive guidance for planning development with wildlife in mind and sets out in plain English how to do this.

The Guide offers advice on how:

  • to take account of Protected Species,
  • find a wildlife consultant who can carry out surveys and prepare management plans,
  • design development projects in ways that incorporate space for wildlife, with ideas and case studies
  • The Guide is available on line at the Essex Biodiversity Project website

The website of the Essex Biodiversity Project can be found at

Essex is a vibrant and dynamic place to live and work. Towns enjoy economic and cultural success. Productive farmland shapes the rural landscape. A superb coastline attracts both commercial and leisure use. Amidst this economic and social success, there is a wealth of wildlife. Through this proactive partnership approach, integrating biodiversity into future development, realising the benefits wherever possible, together we can ensure Essex remains an exceptional county for both its people and its wildlife.