East Devon District Council (EDDC) ecological pre-application advice

In order to minimise delays (and therefore time and money) it is important that your planning application meets ecological policy and legislative requirements. In order to help with this EDDC is working with Devon County Council (DCC) to pilot an ecological pre-application service.

Please follow these steps:

  1. Use EDDC’s Biodiversity Validation Criteria to clarify whether a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) is required.
  2. If a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal is required, employ a suitably qualified ecological consultant. A list of ecological consultants working in this area (you do not have to use anyone from this list but we do advise that the consultant is a member of CIEEM). Further information on surveys, reports and Devon ecology and planning guidance can be found on the DCC website.
  3. To obtain specialist ecological advice from the LPA please contact with any relevant details of your proposal and advice required. We recommend that this is done as early as possible in the design stage of the scheme.

Charges and payment: The charge for ecological pre-application advice is based on the current rate (2019/20) of £50/hour + VAT at 20%. For ecological issues it is very difficult to set standard rates as the size of application does not necessarily relate to the complexity of the ecological issues that need assessing and the time needed. The charge will therefore be discussed and agreed with each developer/consultant individually. However, as a rough guide the initial assessment of most minor applications is likely to take ~ 2 hours.

Payment can be made by cheque, payable to Devon County Council and sent to:

Rowena Game, Environment Group, AB3 Lucombe House, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD.  Payment can also be made by card. Please contact Rowena Game on 01392 382804 (if she is out of the office please leave a message and she will call you back).

Please ensure that you have agreed the payment with the DCC Ecologist before paying the fee.

A written response will be provided within 14 days of the request or following any meeting and receipt of the appropriate fee.  Any responses will also be sent to EDDC.

The advice will generally be valid for two years.  However, if any details of the application change prior to submission or during the consultation / determination period, or significant issues are raised during the consultation period of which DCC was previously unaware, then the advice may need to be updated.

If you have any questions please contact:

Ecology –

Planning – 

Important notes  

Officers will give a professional opinion. Any views or opinions expressed are made in good faith and to the best of the ability of the officer, without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application which will be the subject of consultation and publicity where new material planning considerations may be raised.

Any advice given about the planning history of the site, planning constraints or statutory designations does not constitute a formal response under the provisions of the Local Land Charges Act 1975.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and EIA Regs 2003 details of pre-application advice will not be available for public inspection. However, DCC and EDDC may be required to provide information relating to pre-applications discussions in response to an FOI or EIA information request. If sending a request which you believe to be confidential you must supply a covering letter setting out why and for what period relating to the enquiry any information should be confidential. We may accept that this provides justification for confidentiality and will make every effort in so far as the FOI Act 2000 and EIA 2004 allow to ensure that the information you provide is ‘inaccessible’ in the sense of not being in the public domain or a matter of public knowledge. However, the passage of time may mean that the information is not longer sufficiently sensitive to be considered confidential.

Feedback on the pre-application service is very welcome.