Skip to main content Skip to accessibility
This website is not compatible with your web browser. You should install a newer browser. If you live in Jersey and need help upgrading call the States of Jersey web team on 440099.
Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Biodiversity and development

​​If you submit a planning application that may affect biodiversity, you need to give evidence that the potential impacts have been fully considered.

You may need to include measures to avoid, minimise or replace impacts within your development designs.

Key principles of biodiversity and development

Biodiversity is the variety and diversity of life. In Jersey, biodiversity is present everywhere from the centre of town to the surrounding shores. 

Any type of development can affect biodiversity, and the loss of biodiversity and potential negative environmental impact goes against the aims and objectives of the Bridging Island Plan 2022 to 2025. 

New developments and change are desirable and inevitable but should be designed sustainably and have consideration for local biodiversity. Development should be designed to leave the natural environment in a better state than beforehand.

Legal protections

Jersey’s geographical position and climate supports a rich and diverse flora and fauna. Many of these species are of international importance and protected by the Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2021.

This protection includes:

  • nests
  • dens or roosts
  • breeding and resting sites of certain species 

Areas of Special Protection designated under the Law provide protection from disturbance to specific species throughout their life cycles.

Key habitats are identified in the Biodiversity Strategy for Jersey 2000 as natural or semi-natural habitats which are at risk due to rarity or if they are in decline. They may also be important for certain key species of plants or animals. 

Some of these habitats are legally protected as Sites of Special Interest under the Planning and Building (Jersey) Law 2002. A list and map showing the distribution of Jersey’s natural Sites of Special Interest can be found on natural site search.

The Island is a party to several international environmental agreements. These include the Convention on Biological Diversity, which encourages parties to develop strategies and action plans for the conservation of species and habitats.  

Future development in Jersey will play a key role in maintaining and enhancing the status of habitats and species.

The Bridging Island Plan 2022 to 2025

The Bridging Island Plan 2022 to 2025 is the main consideration in all planning-related decision-making in Jersey. The Natural Environment chapter of the Plan describes the framework for assessing change that affects Jersey’s natural environment. It covers the Island’s:

  • terrestrial and marine biodiversity 
  • geodiversity
  • landscape seascape character

In determining a planning application, all potential impacts of a proposed development must be fully considered, including:

  • protected species
  • protected sites
  • key habitats
  • other natural heritage  

Applicants must demonstrate that their proposals don’t  directly or indirectly cause harm to biodiversity. Development should also aim to make a positive contribution to sustainable development by enhancing local conditions to support wildlife. 

What information you need to provide

The information you provide with your application should allow for an informed decision to be made about the potential impact of your proposal on wildlife and their habitats. 

This will depend on the nature and the scale of your proposal and the extent of impact that may be caused. A qualified ecologist can assist you by confirming the detail needed, and by preparing a report for submission with your application. 

Find advice on finding an ecologist in the following document. 

A Householders Guide to Engaging an Ecologist on CIEEM

​​Wildlife Trigger List

​​You will need to include a completed and signed Wildlife Trigger List with your planning application, in order for it to be registered as complete.

Wildlife Trigger List April 2024

A Wildlife Trigger List is not needed where the application is for:

  • display of an advertisement
  • complaint about a high hedge
  • works to trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order​

If the completed Wildlife Trigger List indicates that the proposals may have adverse effects on wildlife an additional report providing further ecological information will need to be submitted with the application​

The 2 types of wildlife reports that are advised to use for submission alongside your planning application are the:

  • Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) report
  • Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) report 

The most suitable report will depend on the extent of any biodiversity impacts arising from your proposal.

Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) report

A PEA is an initial scoping assessment to identify ecological features ecological value on and around the development site. This assessment provides an early understanding of any likely biodiversity impacts and how these may be avoided or reduced.

A PEA carried out according to good practice will include:

  • a search of local wildlife records for the site and its surroundings from the Jersey Biodiversity Centre
  • a walkover of the site to classify and map habitat types present
  • an inspection for evidence or signs protected species 

A PEA can be undertaken at any time of the year but is best carried out between March and September.

In some cases, the submission of a PEA report with your application will be sufficient. For example, if the assessment has identified minor impacts, these may be avoided by precautionary working methods during construction. 

The PEA should also include measures to increase the biodiversity value of the site on completion of the development.

In the case of the initial scoping assessment not providing enough evidence, further ecological surveys may be recommended.  It’s vital that you seek advice from a professional ecologist as early as possible, because the best time to survey different species may depend on the season.

Find more guidelines for preliminary ecological appraisal on CIEEM.

Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) report 

An EcIA will be needed if there are likely biodiversity impacts that cannot be avoided through precautionary methods.

The EcIA should include:

  • completion of any required ecological surveys
  • an impact assessment based on the findings of the surveys
  • detailed measures needed in order avoid, reduce or compensate for identified impacts
  • proposals to increase the biodiversity value on completion of the development

Find more guidelines for ecological impact assessment on CIEEM.

Ecological survey calendar

If further ecological surveys are needed for the EcIA report, then these must be carried out at the appropriate time of year and by a suitably qualified person as shown in the chart below. 

We recommend early planning and identification of constraints so that your planning application does not encounter delays.

Ecological survey calendar

​​​​​Green roofs for biodiversity

Green roofs, also known as living roofs, are roofs covered by vegetation.

They provide a natural habitat for birds, insects and other wildlife green roofs. They can play an important role in enhancing biodiversity, especially in urban environments.

Green roofs can bring other benefits to development including:

  • helping to absorb rainfall, reducing stormwater runoff
  • removing heat from the air and reducing the heat island effect, which often occurs in urban areas
  • helping to create an attractive environment with opportunities for residents and local communities to engage with nature​

Plant species suitable for green roofs 

Choosing the right mix of plant species is important in maximising the benefits of green roofs to biodiversity.

Native plants are generally the best choice, as they are adapted to the local climate and provide food and shelter for native wildlife. A diverse mix of plant species will support a wide range of insects and other invertebrates.​

Plant species suitable for green roofs

Artificial lighting and wildlife​

Artificial lighting from development can:

  • have significant impacts on light sensitive species, such as invertebrates, bats and birds
  • be harmful if it illuminates important foraging habitats or wildlife corridors such as tree lines and hedgerows
  • affect enjoyment of the countryside or the night sky, especially in areas with intrinsically dark landscapes

Developments need to carefully consider what lighting is needed and reduce any unnecessary lighting, in terms of timing and spatial use. The potential impacts of obtrusive light on wildlife and the environment should be a routine consideration when planning a lighting scheme.

Bats and artificial lighting​ at night guidance notes

Back to top
rating button