Herefordshire Mammal Group are increasingly receiving a regular stream of enquiries from members of the public, typically representing village communities, concerning planned development work which in their opinion may be a threat to protected wildlife. As a small voluntary organisation we have limited resources and are not best placed to give any formal legal advice. Consequently we very rarely get involved directly with issues brought to our attention by members of the public.
However, we have been provided with the following statement to which members of the public or organisations may refer:
Any planning application likely to affect protected species, habitat or designated sites is required to be accompanied by ecological surveys to establish the impact upon local and site ecology. Planning applications are registered and their details published on the Herefordshire Council website where members of the public have the opportunity to participate in supporting, objecting to and making comments upon individual applications.
UK and European Protected Species (EPS) including bats and dormice are fully protected in law and Natural England should be informed of any potential impacts upon any protected species. Natural England currently has standing advice on a whole range of protected species.
Information concerning any new developments, including housing, wind turbines and anything in relation to planning strategy for your area can be found at https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/neighbourhood-planning. Members of the public are able to put forward their views regarding these planning strategies.
Below are some other useful links including links for more information regarding the planning policy of Herefordshire Council and Natural England:
Herefordshire Council Ecology Service and Policies
Planning Application Searches
Natural England Planning and Development
Bats and Wind turbines
Campaign for the Protection of Rural England - Herefordshire Branch
The Bat Conservation Trust also have some very useful information about new developments, planning and the law. See the following website page for details: Planning and the Law
If a member of the public thinks a wildlife crime has been committed, the incident together with any evidence should be presented to West Mercia Police - Phone 101 or see https://www.westmercia.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/wc/wildlife-crime/