Ecology and biodiversity advice for developers

South Oxfordshire has a rich diversity of wildlife habitats and species which make the district an attractive place to live and work and contributes to the quality of life of all residents.  This variety of wildlife we see around us is known as our local biodiversity.

The council is responsible for ensuring potential impacts of planning decisions on biodiversity are fully considered.  Specialist advice on nature conservation and biodiversity enhancement is provided by the council's ecologist.

In order to protect, maintain and enhance our local biodiversity we need planning applications to be accompanied by the correct information outlining the ecological impact your proposed development will have. If you do not provide us with adequate information to allow us to fully consider your application, you run the risk of delays and possible refusal.

What you need to consider when making a planning application?

Guidance on what the council expects in relation to the protection and enhancement of biodiversity related to development proposals can be found in Appendix A of the The South Oxfordshire Design Guide 2008 (see downloads section of this page). The Guide outlines:

  • The species and habitats most commonly encountered in development proposals. 
  • When surveys may be required and what needs to be included. 
  • Opportunities for the enhancement of biodiversity in small and large scale developments.
  • Where to obtain further advice.

Pre-application advice

Pre-application discussions with the Planning Department will highlight potential ecological issues at the earliest possible stage and may help to avoid unnecessary delay later in the planning process.  Please refer to the pre-application advice pages.  
For further information and guidance, see: 

Ecology- Development and great crested newts

South Oxfordshire District Council has been issued a District licence from Natural England, allowing developers to participate in a new great crested newt licencing scheme. This new scheme has the potential to save time and costs for developments where great crested newts may be impacted, at the same time as benefitting the great crested newt population.

More information on the scheme is available on This link will take you to an external website... .

Last reviewed: 08 - 11 - 2018

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