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Development Case Studies

Our Managing Director, Tim Smith, has worked on a wide variety of projects both as an individual consultant or as as an employee and team member of various specialist consultancies. The projects he has been involved in include:

Haydon Wick Flood Alleviation Scheme, Swindon, Wiltshire

Undertook a Great Crested Newt surveys to inform the design and implementation of a £4.9 million flood alleviation scheme along the Haydon Brook in Swindon. Client: Environment Agency.

Unit 92, The Runnings, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Preliminary Bat Assessment of showroom entailing building searches and a biological records search for the presence of bats within a 4km radius of the site. Advice was subsequently provided regarding the potential impacts to the Clients business associated with the low possibility of bats being present within the showroom building. The Client was then provided with a number of options regarding possible management of those risks in accordance with legislative requirements. Client: SuperGroup Plc.

Horsecombe Vale Farm, Bath, Somerset

Carried out an Ecological Appraisal, Great Crested Newt Survey, Preliminary Bat Assessment, Emergence and Activity Surveys for bats. The information was required to inform a planning application (and potential Appropriate Assessment) for the demolition and replacement of an existing dwelling located 190m from the Bath and Bradford on Avon Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Client: Tony Timbrell / Mitchell Taylor Workshop.

Pear Tree Farm, Pilning, South Gloucestershire

Preliminary Bat Assessment to inform development proposals for change of use and renovation of existing agricultural buildings to ancillary domestic accommodation, in accordance with legislative requirements and local, regional and national planning policy. Client: SB Planning.

Sudd Meadow, Gloucester, Gloucestershire

Conducted an Ecological Appraisal to inform a planning application for a waste transfer station. Advised on ecological constraints and opportunities regarding great crested newts and reptiles.

Ockington Field, Dymock, Gloucestershire

Undertook a Great Crested Newt survey to inform a proposed development of a 10ha greenfield site entailing the construction of a house of architectural merit with associated landscaping and a working vineyard. The proposal was strongly influenced by planning policy set out in ‘Planning Policy Statement 7 (PPS7) Sustainable Development in Rural Areas’. Client: Knights Green Estates Ltd.

Old Victoria Hospital, Swindon, Wiltshire

Preliminary Bat Assessment of several listed Victorian hospital buildings prior to renovation. Client: E R Hemmings (Building) Ltd.

Colmans Farm, Elmstone Hardwicke, Gloucestershire

Preliminary Bat Assessment of agricultural outbuildings to inform renovation proposals. Client: Tim Clarke.

Crown Wharf, Canning Town, London

Responsible for the production of an ecology chapter for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for a proposed residential development of a site adjacent to the River Lea Site of Metropolitan Importance (SMI) in East London. Issues included impacts upon ruderal vegetation, foraging black redstart, terrestrial invertebrates, intertidal macrofauna and wintering birds.

Camp Hill, Nuneaton, Warwickshire

Ecological Appraisal to inform detailed design of Phase 1 of the Concept Masterplan for Phase 3 of the regeneration of Camphill project in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

Former Central Engineers Depot, Long Marston, Warwickshire

Undertook Great Crested Newt, detailed botanical and invertebrate surveys. Provided input to the ES Chapter for a mixed-use (residential, commercial and leisure) development of the site.

City College Brighton and Hove, East Sussex

Lead ecologist responsible for the production of an ecology chapter for an EIA for the redevelopment of the Central College Campus, Brighton

Edward Benefer Way, Kings Lynn, Norfolk

Ecological Appraisal, breeding bird and invertebrate surveys to inform a planning application for a residential development affecting a reedbed of county value.

Five Valleys Ecology Ltd


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Survey Season Calendar

Download a copy of our latest Ecology Survey Calendar (pdf, 210 K) to help avoid costly delays to your projects due to missing ecology survey windows.

Start of the Great Crested Newt Survey Season

Surveys for great crested newts (GCNs) can be undertaken from mid-March to mid-June depending on weather conditions. Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) require survey information before planning applications are determined in accordance with Paragraphs 98 and 99 of 'ODPM Circular 06/2005 Biodiversity and Geological Conservation'. We recommend that clients consider the requirement for newt surveys now and plan ahead. Do not miss the narrow GCN survey window. Contact us now to book in surveys and for further advice.

Supreme Court Ruling on the 'Deliberate Disturbance' Offence

In the case of Morge vs Hampshire County Council [2011] UKSC 2 on appeal from: [2010] EWCA Civ 608 the Supreme Court has overruled the Court of Appeal and given a more cautious interpretation of the Article 12(1)(b) 'deliberate disturbance' offence. The Supreme Court believed that the Court of Appeal had set the threshold for 'deliberate disturbance' too high. Whilst no minimum threshold was given by the Supreme Court, a leading environmental lawyer has reviewed the case and believes that in some circumstances disturbance of one or two individuals of a European Protected Species (EPS) may fall within the offence.

Five Valleys Ecology Receive an Ethical Award from the Ethical Company Organisation

Five Valleys Ecology are delighted to have received an Ethical Award and accreditation from the Ethical Company Organisation in recognition of our strong commitment to ethical business practices. The research team stated 'Five Valleys Ecology are commended for puting ethical and environmental considerations at the heart of their business and for providing an ethical alternative within their sector'.


Email us to book a free 15 minute no-obligation consultation to discuss your site and requirements in more detail.