There is a lot of information held on protected sites and wildlife but it does not cover all areas and may not be up to date. In most cases there will be a need to find out what is on a piece of land, or if the land is protected in some way, so that it is much more likely that Legislation is followed; see Countryside & Wildlife Legislation above.
It is highly advisable to identify any potential issues on a piece of land at the earliest possible stage; before purchase or development plans are submitted. There are, for example, over 50 Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC’s) in the Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Local Development Plan and several sites where there are historic records of protected species use.
If a negative impact on wildlife is anticipated then there will be a need to prevent this impact. Where there is evidence that this impact cannot be prevented it will need to be reduced and to create other benefits, this is called mitigation and compensation.
A licence may be required where certain protected species may be affected. It cannot be assumed that licences will be automatically granted.
The Countryside Officer will be able to provide more advice and support on these matters.