EcoNorth were appointed as the Project Ecologist to Bellway Homes for the redevelopment of the Northumbria Police HQ site, Ponteland into a new residential area. This complex site of over sixty old and modern buildings of varied condition and construction type has challenged us logistically with the requirement of 218 bat surveyors for a single survey! Fortunately, our team are not just excellent bat ecologists they are also skilled survey planners, and we were able to schedule in all the bat activity surveys required; even completing them ahead of schedule!
Prior to works it was necessary to evaluate the suitability of all buildings on site for roosting bats. EcoNorth completed preliminary bat roost assessments of each building on site in 2016. This assessment was followed by full bat activity surveys (vantage point) across the site, commencing late summer 2016, and stretching into the 2017 season (May to September).
Despite the logistical challenge of the site and some nights of “rain stopping survey” (bat surveys cannot be undertaken during wet conditions) our bat ecologists and fantastic freelance bat surveyors (we currently have around sixty on our books) were onsite nearly every night of the survey season to ensure that we meet the Bellway Homes’ deadlines and adhered to Bat Conservation Trust best practice guidelines.
Results of the surveys were presented in a comprehensive report detailing bat roosting locations. Our bat licensed ecologists liaised with the client and relevant authorities, providing design advice, and preparing European Protected Species Mitigation Licence (EPSML) documentation; aiding with the ecological side of the planning application every step of the way.
With construction now planned to take place in early 2018, our bat licensed ecologists will also be available to provide on-site specialist advice and supervision as Ecological Clerks of Works (ECoW). EcoNorth continues to provide pragmatic advice to the client regarding mitigation and compensatory measures required under the EPSML.
|Project Start & End Date||2016 – onwards|
|Contract Value||c.£57,500 to date|
‘’Due to the nature and sheer number of existing buildings, the ecology planning requirements for the Police Headquarters development have been complex. It has been reassuring to have EcoNorth providing us with expert advice and support. EcoNorth has guided us through the requirements of the Natural England licensing process to ensure that we comply with our obligations. They have co-ordinated an enormous amount of activity on site and all within the timescales we set. We really value their flexible and sensible approach and wouldn’t hesitate to engage EcoNorth on future projects.’’ Marie Lodge, Technical Project Manager, Bellway Homes Limited (North East). 2017