When you’ve got a plot of land you want to turn into fantastic housing development, before you begin construction, you’ll need to ensure that you are protecting the environment and the local wildlife. Since the Environment Act 2021, there are new rules in place to save the world we live in when we build, which will ensure that wildlife will have the appropriate habitats and nature can flourish. In this article, we take a look at the ways you can protect wildlife and the environment during your housing development project to create the perfect homes for your property buyers and the creatures that live outdoors.
As you get started, you’ll need to be aware that you should report any environmental incidents that occur during the building process. These incidents can be anything from damaged river banks to fallen trees and any other damage to the natural environment. Additionally, you should also report any accidents where animals are hurt or if your workers find an animal that is deceased. In order to report your incidents, you’ll need to head over to the government website, where you will find the advice you need to let them know when there’s been a problem.
Birds And Mammals
Most development projects occur on large spaces of land, and when building begins, it can impact trees and habitats, which could leave birds and mammals without a home. In order to protect the birds and wildlife on your development, you will need to get surveys done, such as a bat survey, to ensure that you are not encroaching on the homes of protected species and that you are able to relocate the animals safely.
When looking at the different surveys you need, one of the most important are bat surveys, which you can get from batsurveys.co.uk. There are many protected species of bats, and to protect them from harm during your project, you will need expert advice during the planning stages.
Fish, Shellfish, Amphibians And Reptiles
Some housing developments may be taking place along the shore or near rivers, and in this case, you won’t only need to worry about the habitats of mammals and birds but also fish, shellfish, amphibians, and reptiles.
Most new housing development won’t be done on the seaside, but in the event, you do manage to bag a lovely plot of land for a waterside view housing project, you’ll need to be aware of the implications to the marine life you may be impacting by conducting the necessary assessments.
River properties are more common than coastal developments, but the impact of the local fish, amphibians, and reptiles during your development needs to be monitored carefully. If you have a river or brook running through your plot, you may want to install bridges for future residents, but this may take valuable habitats away from creatures such as frogs. Getting an expert on-site to help you through this process will allow you to create new and better homes for this wildlife so they can continue to flourish alongside the new houses.
Plants And Trees
Aside from the wildlife, you will also need to have surveys to assess the land for protected plants and trees, which you would have to leave intact to continue with the build. It is best to do these surveys before you begin creating the plans for your development, as the results could impact where you are able to place houses and green spaces. There are many protected species of plants and trees in the
UK, and with the surveys, you will be able to plan around them, which will create a unique and interesting development that will also set the mind of buyers at ease. In today’s world, first time and experienced buyers want environmentally responsible homes that bring the wonders of nature to their gardens and doorstep.
Trees, plants, and bats are not the only ones with protected species status; there are many creatures that need to be protected due to dwindling numbers as a result of losing their habitats. Understanding which animals and plants are protected will help you create better homes for them throughout your development, which will leave beautiful green spaces your residents can enjoy. Whether you’re building near a big city or in the countryside, you can improve the environment with your development by looking after the protected species of the UK.
Where possible, it’s better to conserve the existing wildlife habitats on the land you’re building on to be in line with the current laws. However, in some cases leaving these habitats could pose a risk to the animals and the new residents, which is when you will need the help of an expert to relocate them. If you can leave the habitats without risk, you can also plant shrubbery and flowers that will enhance the animal’s homes, adding to your biodiversity net gain, which we will cover in more detail in the next section.
Biodiversity Net Gain
Biodiversity net gain, also known as BND, is where you will be expected to increase the biodiversity of land you’re developing on by 10% at the end of the project. You can do this by enhancing existing habitats or by creating new ones to encourage more wildlife to the area. Biodiversity net gain is part of the Environment Act 2021 and is currently phasing into law until 2023.
While it is replacing old laws at a steady pace, new developments are expected to adhere to the rules to create a greener UK. Over the years, many habitats have been lost, and as a result, the numbers of species we have are dwindling. Biodiversity net gain is a way to combat these dropping numbers by encouraging wildlife, plants, and trees to flourish alongside our new homes. By making sure you are taking biodiversity into account when you’re planning your development, you are helping to create a better environment for your residents and the UK as a whole.