I’ve neglected this site a little in the past couple of weeks so here is an update on some of the things I’ve been working on.
Job 1 – a proposal by a farmer to erect a small wind turbine for domestic use, microturbines as they are called can often be erected without planning permission if they attached to a house but in this case the location was in a field some distance from the buildings. This was a particularly interesting job as in addition to the usual assessment of impacts from construction and use I had to focus on issues specific to wind power, notably the risk of birds or bats hitting the turbine. All this while keeping the survey proportional to the very small size of the turbine and the fact the client was essentially a private homeowner. Luckily there is published guidance from Scottish Natural Heritage that is endorsed by the Welsh authorities to clarify the issues and using this and negotiation with the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) it was agreed that the best approach would be a risk assessment of the likelihood of problems. This showed that it was highly unlikely birds or bats would be harmed in this case and CCW advised that no further surveys were required.
Job 2 – Code for Sustainable Homes assessment, again small scale but with particular issues mainly the need to understand the ecology of the site before any work when it had been a storage area for an active building site for over five years. In the end I was able to decide that bare earth/industrial use was the previous condition due to the time passed but if you are thinking of getting a Code ecology report please bear in mind that you can maximise the credits by having the ecologist on site as early as possible.