The Biodiversity Planning Toolkit was created by the Association of Local Government Ecologist (ALGE) in partnership with conservation and planning organisations with the aim of incorporating biodiversity into the planning system and new development.

The toolkit provides information to help you plan-ahead for your development, giving information on the potential habitat and protected species surveys that may be required to undertake to support a planning application. It also suggests ways to bring biodiversity into your design. The toolkit also aspires to provide links to consultants to help you with your planning application, but that is not available as a feature yet.

You can use the tool in two ways, by searching the website and by using the interactive map (note you will need Flash Player to use the map). The map also includes aims to provide some simulated development scenarios, many of these are still in development, however the conversion of a rural building is the most complete.

The key relevant legislation is available through the navigations buttons. Important habitats and protected species information required for a planning application is provided with links to sources of further information. The interactive map gives greater detail on incorporating biodiversity into your design.

There is an inbuilt “tour” function to help you explore how to use the website to find the above  information, at the time of writing this was not working.

Following the menu allows you to look at the starter tools, the Planning officers checklist will give you a helpful insight into the answers you will need to address in your planning application. There is useful information on when bat surveys may be required, but be aware that the guidance and survey timings information cited is out of date, and you or your ecologist will need to refer to the current guidance.