Ecology and Wildlife interests are a significant material consideration for any decision. This is for all types of decision and includes all planning decisions and Listed Building Consent decisions as well. Regulation 9(5) of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (Implemented 1st April 2010) provides that all "competent authorities" (public bodies) to "have regard to the Habitats Directive in the exercise of its functions.” In order for a Local Planning Authority to comply with regulation 9(5) it must "engage" with the provisions of the Habitats Directive.
Any application that fails to provide sufficient information to judge that ecology interests have been taken into account and if necessary designed for and mitigated for adequately risks refusal. This can be a fundamental issue especially when survey times for wildlife and protected species can be seasonal.
Please see these two very important external links in respect of any proposed development. These will help explain considerations and legal requirements in respect of ecology and making an application.
Also available on these pages is a useful checklist, please find this below.
Local assistance may also be found from Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Suffolk County Council Ecology.