Planning advice

Professional Services

SWT Ecology Planning Advice Service

Paul Hobson

The planning system plays a major part in shaping the landscapes in which we live both for us, and for future generations.

Good development protects existing wildlife during the planning process and seeks to restore and create new wildlife habitats. Inappropriate or ill-considered development can be highly damaging and lead to long term and irreversible wildlife losses.

Our services
Professional, evidence-based consultation responses to planning application proposals submitted to us by the Local Planning Authorities, helping Authorities met their legal and policy obligations towards wildlife
Access to existing records of protected and rare species, and sites designated as important for nature conservation, to inform consultation responses
Evidence-based advice on measures to avoid and/or mitigate impact to wildlife
Proportionate, effective measures to seek long-term enhancements for wildlife as a result of the development
Reviewing Local Plan or Local Development Framework policies to ensure wildlife is protected and help seek opportunities to restore and enhance habitats.

Advice to Local Planning Authorities at the pre-application stage of a proposed development. This could include:

  • Scope ecological constraints on site
  • Scope the need for protected species / habitat surveys
  • Identify ecological reporting required
  • Help avoid unnecessary delays due to missed survey seasons or inappropriate / missing information


Why choose us?

Our Planning Officers are experienced ecologists with a detailed understanding of local wildlife and local planning policy.

We offer professional ecology advice into the planning system through direct consultation with Local Planning Authority planning case officers.

We maintain a neutral stance on development – neither for nor against. Our focus is always to help the Local Authority, the statutory authority achieve the best outcome for wildlife.

Surrey Wildlife Trust is uniquely placed to provide tailored, evidence-based and proportionate advice to Local Planning Authorities. We use our local knowledge of Surrey’s wildlife and our understanding of planning policy and legislation help to identify when, how and where biodiversity should be protected and enhanced by the planning system.

Our advice also helps ensure that planning decisions made by Local Planning Authorities meet their policy and legal obligations towards wildlife due to missed survey seasons or inappropriate / missing information


Email us at
Call us on 01483 795449