The planning system regulates how land-use changes are decided, and can therefore have a major influence on reptile and amphibian conservation. In essence, there are two main elements to land-use planning: forward (or strategic) planning, and development control. The former sets out the broad framework for land-use changes in a given region. The latter regulates applications for individual land-use changes. ARC engages in planning by influencing national policy and, when particular cases merit, by making representations on individual cases. The document below gives advice if you are concerned about a particular development. The planning systems in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland run to similar principles but different procedures. 

Wildlife Assessment Check

The Wildlife Assessment Check is a free online tool, developed by the Partnership for Biodiversity in Planning, that is designed to help householders and smaller developers who are making a planning application, or undertaking a permitted development or works to a listed building. The tool allows applicants to check whether their proposed site and works are likely to require expert ecological advice before making a planning application. It aims to smooth out the planning application process for applicants by encouraging them to address potential ecological impacts early on, reducing unnecessary delays and costs. It also aims to support those local planning authorities who lack in-house ecological capacity, by encouraging applicants to take responsibility for ecological impact as a part of their application.

The Partnership for Biodiversity in Planning, of which ARC is a partner, is led by the Bat Conservation Trust and funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. The partnership website provides up to date publications about planning policies across the UK and ecological assessment (in the ’Resources’ section).

Related documents

Guidance on Building Development (England) with Respect to Amphibians and Reptiles (PDF 118kb)

Common Toads and Roads - Guidance for planners and highways engineers in England (PDF 2243kb)

Amphibian Habitat Management Handbook (PDF 3395kb)

Reptile Habitat Management Handbook (PDF 3884kb)