Biodiversity Net Gain Assessment at Phoenix Depot

Biodiversity Net Gain Assessment at Phoenix Depot

Commencement date – March 2023

Completion Date – March 2023

The development site, previously an active depot named Phoenix House and Depot, consisted of a series of offices and storage yards, hardstanding car parks, woodland, and grassland. The proposed scheme aimed to construct a residential scheme with associated infrastructure and landscaping, which required the demolition of on-site buildings.

The development site faced various challenges, such as potential presence of great crested newts in waterbodies in 250m and on-site, roosting opportunities for bats, loss of biodiversity habitat, and hedgerow units. Equans- Engie Group commissioned E3P to undertake a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, Arboriculture Impact Assessment, Great Crested Newt eDNA surveys, Nocturnal Bat Survey, Biodiversity Net Gain Assessment, and Habitat Management and Maintenance Plan.

E3P’s ecology department conducted comprehensive surveys to identify potential constraints that could impact the scheme. Great Crested Newt eDNA surveys and Nocturnal Bat Surveys and Activity Surveys were carried out, enabling the ecology team to provide effective mitigation. A Biodiversity Net Gain assessment was also done to highlight crucial habitats that required retention and creation to achieve a 10% gain in habitat and hedgerow units, in line with the Environment Act 2021. E3P provided plans to protect and manage habitats adequately during the operational phase of development for long-term benefits to local wildlife.

The Ecology department in E3P provided landscape recommendations to achieve a 10% gain in habitat and hedgerow units for the site, removing the need for the client to seek off-site compensation or pay an offset fee to continue the development. This was particularly beneficial as the indicative landscape proposals showed a loss of hedgerow units.