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An email from an existing client, last December, lead Team Ecology to a new site in Kent where they conducted a PEA survey on a large sand quarry that had lain idle for 15 years. To comply with planning conditions, detailed ecology surveys needed to be completed prior to extraction works re-commencing in October 2018. If they weren't, planning permission would be lost.
As a result of this extremely narrow timescale the team decided to make the initial survey very early in the year, outside normal recommended survey times. The gamble paid off with the initial survey revealing a large expanse of habitat suitable for bats, rare birds and the endangered hazel dormouse. Pleydell Smithyman's ecologists needed to survey, report and propose interim mitigation works quickly to ensure continuity of the planning permissions.
Negotiations started in June, to permit a phased approach of works to allow the construction and continued use of a haul route through areas destined for restoration. Detailed negotiations with the client, County Ecologist and Senior Planning Officer allowed variations of the conditions. In addition extensive Phase 2 surveys resulted in modifications to the existing extraction areas and haul route, whilst avoiding particularly sensitive areas of habitat.
The early Phase 2 surveys produced information immediately, so our team could initiate mitigation plans from an early stage. On the 28th September Kent County Council approved the modified conditions and Pleydell Smithyman's ecologist were on site on the 1st October to conduct the Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW) supervisory works. These were completed in early October leaving the client nearly four weeks to mobilise.