Following an independent review and industry wide consultation, the Minister for Local Government and Housing has revealed new planning application fees which come into force across Scotland as of 1st June 2017.

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Leading environmental planning consultancy Atmos Consulting is delighted to have secured planning permission for a 19.8MW Gas Peaking Plant and 20MW battery storage plant in Kirkcaldy, Fife, for SAINC ENERGY. In keeping with Sainc’s commitment to promote sustainable energy solutions, the development also intends to launch a research and development centre for innovative energy technologies. The project will bring significant investment to the local area and utilise local resources, promote energy independence and generate sustainable long term jobs in the energy sector.

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Atmos Consulting is delighted to have appointed experienced town planner Ronnie Hogg as Technical Director, joining the company’s growing Town Planning and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) team.

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Latest planning performance figures for Scotland show the average time taken to determine major planning applications rose steeply during the first half of the 2016-17 financial year – up from 26.3 weeks during the first three months of 2016 to an average of 44.8 weeks during July to September. This is the highest average determination period for major applications for any quarter since this measurement began in April 2012. Atmos Technical Director Ecology considers what developers can do to mitigate the risk of delays in the planning process.  

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With the start of the newt season fast approaching its time to begin thinking about those ponds on your site which might need surveying.  The survey season for newts is relatively short, beginning in March and ending in mid-June, with eDNA test being able to be undertaken from 15th April to 30th June.

Although presence/absence surveys or eDNA tests can determine if GCN are present any subsequent licence application to allow the translocation of GCN from your site needs to be informed by population assessments. These population assessments involve undertaking 6 survey visits. For the survey data to be considered valid at least half of these six survey visits need to be undertaken during mid-April to Mid-May and ideally spaced a week apart.

There is therefore a very real risk that survey work commissioned late in the survey season results in the full suite of survey visits being unable to be undertaken, potentially causing significant delays to your project.  

Early engagement with an experienced ecology consultant is essential in order to avoid untimely delays and unnecessary costs. Our bespoke ecology calendar is designed to help you programme in surveys during the appropriate survey windows.

Contact us to today to find out how we can successfully help you mitigate the ecological implications of your project.