Protected species and development projects

Protected species of plants and animals

Many species of plants and animals in Wales, along with their habitats, are protected by law. What you can and can’t do by law varies from species to species.

The presence of a protected species is a material consideration when a local planning authority is considering a development proposal that, if carried out, would be likely to result in disturbance or harm to the species or its habitat.

See full list of protected species licensing.

If you think protected species may be present on or near the site you wish to develop, you should commission a survey for protected species by an experienced and qualified ecologist. This will need to confirm whether or not a protected species is present, and to assess the likely impact of the development on any protected species present.

You may need a licence to carry out certain activities. Find out how to apply for a protected species licence.

You should try everything else possible to avoid affecting the species or damaging their habitats. Applying for a licence should be your last resort.

As part of your protected species survey, the ecologist will produce a protected species survey report. This should be included with your planning application. We require that ecologists include the 'protected species survey summary and assessment’ with the protected species survey report - you can find a template for this at the bottom of this page. We ask for this information so there is consistency across all the protected species survey reports we receive, and it helps us to work efficiently and effectively.