Recognising that cessation of environmental survey works would risk causing later delays in the development sector, RammSanderson has received confirmation via our industry trade association CIEEM (The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management) that ecology works are allowed to continue.
We have been forwarded a letter sent to us by Sally Hayns, who is the CEO of CIEEM following her request for clarification on how coronavirus guidance relates to ecological and environmental professionals. The DEFRA response can be viewed in full by clicking this link. (Link to PDF)
In summary, DEFRA has confirmed that ecologists and environmental professionals should be able to continue with outdoor work, including ecological surveying and supervision, where they can continue to follow Public Health England guidelines.
With this in mind, as long as the land owner or developer will allow works to take place, RammSanderson has continued to carry out field based ecological, arboricultural and flood risk surveys. We have also been completing surveys on other projects using desk based methodologies whilst safely working from home. You can read more about the Government advice for outdoor work by visiting the gov.uk website.
Whilst we are taking this pandemic very seriously indeed, and are taking every precaution to protect the safety all people involved, we are also acutely aware that missing a survey window in 2020 could have a devasting impact in the future economy and the people employed by businesses in the construction sector.
Despite the pandemic, nature’s cycle for wildlife and flora continues as do hibernation and breeding seasons. This means that some surveys only have a short survey window, and missing this window in 2020 could potentially delay the start of vital building projects that may affect the speed at which the economy can recover in future. Rest assured, safety remains a top priority and we will always carry out thorough risk assessments on all projects to ensure the can go ahead safely.
In summary, if you have temporarily postponed a project in order to comply with lockdown measures and would like guidance from us on what projects you might be able to “unpause’, and which surveys you need please get in touch.
If you have paused more than one project, we can also help you appraise and prioritise these projects in order to help you recommence works and maximise development potential and employment opportunities in 2020/2021.