Woolton Manor

An innovative, green housing scheme in South Liverpool has been given the go-ahead after a successful planning appeal. 

The site consists of former parkland, planted as part of Woolton Manor convalescence home.

Ecology Services Ltd was commissioned to undertake a Preliminary Ecological Assessment of the site, which identified the entire site was a proposed Local Wildlife Site, but not adopted. When we are working on sensitive sites, we often liaise with the Local Planning Authorities ecological advisers at an early stage, to agree the level of ecological surveys required.

Ecological surveys included; preliminary roost assessments of trees followed by presence/absence surveys, bat habitat surveys to determine how the site was used by bats, butterfly surveys, National Vegetation Classification and breeding bird surveys. These surveys were required to establish the baseline ecology of the site, to advise upon ways to avoid and minimise ecological impacts through careful development design; and to mitigate and compensate where the sites features of ecological interest and functionality were unavoidably affected. Ecology Services Ltd collated all this information together and results were produced in a single Ecological Assessment Report.

Nearly half of the site was to be retained and enhanced. Mitigation included the creation of a pond, enhancement to retained wooded areas (thinning, under scrub and ground layer planting), creation of hedgerows, creation of grasslands that were specifically designed for butterflies, adoption of a sensitive lighting and incorporation of bat roosts in restored structures and on retained trees. All invasive species will be removed in favour of replacement native species. Log piles will be created for saproxylic invertebrate species along with the installation of bee hives, new bird boxes and tree planting. We reviewed and input into the overall Habitat Enhancement and  Management Plan which forms the basis of management of a new wildlife park. The development was sensitively designed consisting of 9 single storey detached 4 and 5 bedroom executive homes with roof and ground level gardens along with a warden’s bungalow for 24 hour security. The design minimised impacts to trees, adopted green roofs and minimised light pollution to encourage wildlife to within the development footprint.

Ecology Services Ltd are really proud to have provided the ecology support on this sensitive site and that the Planning Inspector agreed with our proposals. It is a fantastic site and to see so much innovation on one scheme is a delight.

We thoroughly enjoyed working for Rushton Properties on this job and being apart of their expert team,  including planning Richard Gee of Roman Summer Associates Ltd. www.romansummer.com  and architect Adam Morgan of Studio RBA www.studiorba.co.uk.