Planning Permission

Factors affecting planning permission: Nature and wildlife

You may need to consider the effects on wildlife of any works you wish to carry out. Animals, plants and habitats may be protected under their own legislation (badgers for example), under the 'Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981' (for example, bats, see below), or under European legislation (EU protected species, such as the Great Crested Newt).

Natural England can provide advice on what species are protected by legislation, and what course of action should be taken. Your local planning authority should also be able to advise on any species or habitats that may be affected by your proposals.

Even when your development proposal benefits from permitted development rights, the legal protections for wildlife still apply.


Some houses may hold roosts of bats. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 gives special protection to bats because of their roosting requirements.

Natural England must be notified of any proposed action (eg, remedial timber treatment, renovation, demolition and extensions) which is likely to disturb bats or their roosts. They must then be allowed time to advise on how best to prevent inconvenience to both bats and the owners.

Information on bats and the law can be obtained from Natural England.

Wildlife Assessment Check

The Wildlife Assessment Check is a free online tool is free that identifies whether there are any protected or priority wildlife species in the location where proposed works are to take place.

Find out more