Monmouthshire County Council Local Development Plan
The project In 2011, we undertook a series of habitat and botanical surveys of thirty two sites that were being put forward for inclusion on the register of candidate sites for development in the Local Development Plan (LDP). The ecological assessments were part of the process of producing the LDP under Part 6 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. Monmouthshire County Council required the ecological assessment as part of the process of reviewing and developing the evidence base for the plan and the study followed a prescribed methodology of desk study and a rapid field assessment to evaluate the sites according to criteria set for high, moderate or low ecological value.
Our involvement A team of four ecologists gathered the baseline ecological data. A detailed desk study with review of designated sites and protected species held by South East Wales Biological Records Centre (SEWBReC) was followed by a Phase 1 habitat survey. The project involved the surveying of a number of existing County Wildlife Sites within Monmouthshire and the subsequent assessment of each site to evaluate its ecological resources and to identify biodiversity constraints.
The assessment outcomes were reported in a Word document and was supported by a comprehensive digital GIS database produced by our GIS specialist and supplied in MapInfo format. The GIS project created distribution maps showing the extent of the candidate sites in Monmouthshire and the ecological information was presented on layers, showing: 1) The overall biodiversity value; 2) Valued ecological features and receptors within the sites; 3) Habitat coding (according to Phase 1 habitat categories).