17-09-2019

A considerable amount of planning goes into assessing the viability of a site for property development. One essential consideration is the impact on the environment and local wildlife.

In the last 12 months 2 of the developers we have worked with to secure property development finance have had their development delayed due to protected wildlife. In the first case the site was found to have slow worms and as they are a protected species they had to be re-homed before any work could begin. In the second case our developers came across a badger set and again they had to be re-homed before work could start. These and other animals/reptiles can result in huge delays and extra costs for a property developer.

If you are a developer you may want to watch out for European protected species. Disturbing them without taking the correct protective measures may result in a fine and up to 6 months behind bars!

Slow Worms
If discovered, you will need to consider developing around the affected area or providing an alternate habitat for the slow worms to live in.

Badgers
How can you cull this little fella! In the case of Badgers you may have to create new tunnels for them to relocate and put up fencing to stop them walking on to new roads.

Bats
Not everyone’s favourite animal perhaps but all species of bats are protected. Activities that can affect bats include renovating, converting or demolishing a building. There is an actual Bat phone you may call if you discover bats. ‘Holy delayed build schedule Batman!’

Toads
Natterjack toads are a protected species. One method to survey for Natterjacks are to listen for their calls during breeding season which starts in April and can last until July. If found they will need to be avoided or alternate habitat created/improved.

And finally, we couldn’t write this article without looking at Foxes…

Unfortunately Foxes don’t get a mention on the UK Gov site and it would seem that rather than being protected they are rather more viewed as pests. We certainly have a soft spot for them.

For more information on how wildlife can affect your property development visit the UK government website.