Delivering future-facing solutions
Balancing environmental responsibility with your project outcomes is our priority. Our team offers a range of services across the project lifecycle from site selection and appraisal of design options, through to environmental management at the construction stage and post-consent monitoring.
We work within your project teams to deliver solutions designed to mitigate adverse effects and enhance the environment and community. With a depth of knowledge across environmental and social topics, our technical team takes a solution-focused, holistic approach to a project, which our clients always value.
Environmental Impact Assessment
Ecus has over 30 years’ experience in undertaking statutory and non-statutory EIA projects, from initial screening and scoping through to the production of Environmental Statements/EIA Reports. As a result, we hold the IEMA EIA Quality Mark and have successfully completed major projects across Great Britain including tidal barrage construction, power stations, wind farm developments, quarrying and industrial schemes, road and other linear and urban developments.
Our team is experienced in Strategic Environmental Assessment, Sustainability Appraisal and Equality Impact Assessment of plans and programmes, from initial Scoping through assessment to post-adoptions statements, including stakeholder engagement. We work collaboratively with project teams to embed environmental objectives resulting in improved sustainability outcomes.
Fit for purpose solutions
Permitting and Consenting
We provide tailored advice and support to navigate a range of permitting and consenting processes. This includes Flood Risk Activity Permitting, Marine Licensing and SSSI Consenting, supporting surveys and assessments, and managing consultation with regulators and statutory advisors.
Our team works with project designers and contractors to understand potential project impacts in the context of the licensing regime, to ensure mitigation is appropriate and regulatory requirements are understood.
An increasingly important aspect to managing our environment, we support and advise on the approaches and tools required to assess ecosystem services, including stakeholder engagement and mapping.
We provide strategic advice on land use in the context of natural capital and ecosystem services.
Experienced environmental assessors
Habitats Regulations Assessments and Marine Conservation Zones
Habitats Regulations Assessments (HRAs) are required where there is potential for plans and projects to adversely affect European protected sites for habitats and species. This includes Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas and Ramsar sites. Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) assessments are required as part of the Marine Licensing process in England for works near designated MCZs.
We manage these assessments for submission as part of the wider consenting and planning processes. In addition, we have a wealth of experience of providing Screening and Appropriate Assessment on behalf of Competent Authorities. This includes supporting surveys, data analysis, assessment and reporting and managing consultation with regulators and statutory advisors.
Protection from nutrient pollution
Natural England has issued updated guidance to local planning authorities concerning nutrient neutrality. Land development in some catchment areas cannot proceed if the work increases levels of nutrients. Nutrient pollution is a major environmental issue – in some water environments, increased nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, can encourage the growth of vegetation and algae, which can be harmful to wildlife. Excess nutrients come from sewage treatment works, septic tanks, livestock, arable farming and industrial processes. Developments in some areas can only proceed if they are ‘nutrient neutral’.
This guidance applies to a range of residential development types, and certain commercial and agricultural activities. Local planning authorities must take into consideration nutrient neutrality before planning permission is granted. A Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) is required for projects that are likely to increase levels of nutrients. Our Ecological Consultants have been providing nutrient neutrality advice to LPAs and developers for two years, and can provide a range of services to support planning applications, including production of nutrient neutral assessments, mitigation strategies and HRA.
Delivering environmental and social improvements
Construction Environmental Management
We understand the importance of successful implementation of environmental and social solutions identified during the planning and design phases of a project. By collaborating with planners and designers, we can develop construction environmental and social management plans that draw together identified mitigation and current construction environmental management best practice. With a close partnership, we can strengthen management plans into workable documents guaranteed to deliver real environmental and social benefits.