There are plans to build on a site which is important for wildlife.

I have been made aware of a new development on green space. I regularly see wildlife on the site and the local area has lots of biodiversity, including protected species like Great Crested Newt and Bats. What can i do?

If you suspect a developer has ignored protected species present on a site this may be a wildlife crime in which case it should be reported to the police. You can also contact your planning officer to find out whether or not biodiversity has been properly considered as part of a planning application.

You can make a public information request with us to see what wildlife information we already hold. If we don't have information on the species you have seen then you can submit wildlife records to us to update our information. The information we hold is available to the local planning authorities via the Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service (MEAS) who make recommendations and provide advice to the Liverpool City Region planning authorities, in part, on the biodiversity data we provide.

In addition professional guidance drawn up by the Chartered Institue of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) recommends that where the is a risk to biodiversity, the developer themselves makes use of biodiversity data (generally through the comissioning of an ecological consultant who carries out a desk-study) to ensure compliance with the British Standard 42020:2013 Biodiversity – Code of Practice for Planning and Development.

"It is increasingly important to take biodiversity into account when making decisions that have an impact on the environment, and there is a legal/policy requirement to do so. Those making, or advising on, such decisions should use biodiversity data from the appropriate source(s). This is necessary to ensure that decisions are based on the best available evidence and are as cost-effective and transparent as possible."

Assuming the data exists and the planning authority has followed the appropriate guidance (and any advice from MEAS) the development will likely have conditions relating to the presence of priority species or habitat (such as mitigation) as is required as part of the National Planning and Policy Framework (NPPF), their Biodiversity Duty and related legislation (such as the NERC Act).