Developers, builders and architects

When planning to develop a site, or carry out building or demolition works, you must consider any protected species present.

Begin by asking yourself whether the proposed development:

  • will displace any of our protected species, either temporarily or permanently
  • puts a protected animal at risk of being killed
  • risks disturbing a protected animal while breeding
  • is likely to damage the breeding site of a protected animal

Read our advice for planners and developers on protected animals

You should also view our advice for planners and developers on birds, as all wild birds in Scotland are protected.

Survey and species protection plan

If you know that the proposed development site supports a protected species, you should arrange for an ecological survey to be carried out.

This survey should be done at a suitable time of year for the species in question and may need to follow particular methodologies. A licence will be needed to carry out a survey for some protected species.

Find out about licensing.

The survey report produced should include ways to mitigate unavoidable damage or disturbance and suggest ideas to compensate for any losses. It should also identify any licensing requirements necessary to enable the work to proceed legally.

This type of survey report is known as a species protection plan.

Protected species and planning permission

Local planning authorities must consider protected species, particularly European protected species, during the planning application process.

Your planning officer may ask you for more information about the presence of any protected species on the proposed site before your application is processed.

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