Many reptile species are protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, but not their habitats. However, smooth snake and sand lizards are fully protected by WCA, meaning any development that may affect low-disturbance habitats will require a reptile survey.
Agb Environmental’s ecologists are fully licensed to conduct Phase 1 Surveys for planning, BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes assessments, and further species-specific surveys that include GCN, badgers, bats and reptile surveys. Our ecologists can then go on to complete any Phase 2 surveys that are found to be needed.
To ensure your development doesn’t come under any hitches at the planning stage, or later on when construction begins, we are thorough in our reptile surveys to save you time and money. Our reptile survey methods follow best practise guidelines and require seven visits. With reptile surveys there are weather and timing constraints, with the optimal survey time being between mid-March and September (a note should be made that reptile surveys can not be carried out during prolonged hot periods mid-summer).
For planning applications, a mitigation method statement must be agreed with the Local Planning Authorities to ensure that any proposed translocation of reptiles is appropriate as well as maintaing the local conservation status of the species.
If a reptile survey finds a species to be present, their is a hierarchy of precedence. Firstly, to maintain the reptiles in situ if possible within the planned development. Secondly, re-locate the reptiles within the proposed development area. And thirdly, translocate them off-site to a local wildlife area that is protected for the foreseeable future.
Agb Environmental would like to remind clients that the UK gives reptiles a lower level of protection than the European protected species, however, Local Planning Authorities do require full reptile surveys before the success of the application is determined.