Brexit and ecology surveys
Although the planning system will continue to require ecology surveys, with the exit from European Legislation is likely to come a relaxing of approach towards European Protected Species. Currently there is a regulatory and mandatory requirement for EPS to be considered in every planning decision, but there is nothing like the same protection or emphasis on non-EPS species. We hope there will be a rationalisation of the system such that ecology as a whole can be considered, and in particular local ecology, instead of focusing so much effort on a narrow range of species.
However, given all the other cuts to local government, we are unsure how any new framework for environmental protection will be adopted and enforced.
The current European legislation will remain in force for at least the next 2 years, and it is very unlikely to change at all during this period given that the UK is effectively no longer involved in decision making, so there is no chance of a gradual change towards a new system.
We will be keeping our clients informed of any further developments or indications of new directions, as they appear.