Protected species at 160+ unit housing and commercial development in Saffron Walden

commerical re-development

The brief

The client, Ridgeons, wished to develop land for housing and to create a new commercial premises for its own use. The site comprised commercial and industrial units, large areas of hardstanding, along with several large fields and scattered parcels of grassland and scrub, including some areas of calcareous grassland. A Protected Roadside Verge (Ashdon Road PRV) was present at the site entrance.

What did we do?

MKA Ecology undertook a preliminary ecological appraisal to determine potential impacts of the proposed mixed-use development. We identified calcareous grassland, common lizard, badgers and a bat roost as potential ecological constraints.

A reptile translocation programme resulted in the capture and translocation by MKA Ecology of 246 common lizard to a designated receptor area. Enhancement of the receptor site included reduction in scrub, creation of grassland rides and construction of multiple hibernacula.

Under a Natural England licence obtained by MKA Ecology, the badger setts adjacent to the site were closed using one-way gates, to be reopened once the construction works nearby were complete.

A Natural England licence was also granted for the exclusion and destruction of a bat roost through the use of exclusion valves. Alternative roosting was provided in the form of tree mounted bat boxes. Additional bat boxes are to be incorporated into the final building scheme.

Following the findings of our NVC (National Vegetation Classification) survey which identified high quality calcareous grassland, a turve translocation programme was designed by MKA Ecology.

What was the outcome for the client?

Involvement from inception and efficient and effective delivery of our services, combined with creative solutions meant that the client could factor the ecological requirements into the project master plans, minimising delay and cost and enabling sustainable development.

Find out more about how we can help – call us to discuss
01763 262211 or email

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What our clients said

Our team have worked with MKA Ecology over many years on a wide range of development projects across a wide range of sectors. Their expertise and professional commitment to projects has a been a vital component part of the development process and we continue to value their wise counsel in sometimes challenging ecological circumstances.

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