Top tips: Peatlands

As important carbon sinks, protecting peatlands is high on the sustainability agenda. It means gaining planning consent can be challenging. Watch our webinar below and check out our top tips on how to approach developing on peatlands. 

Watch: Peatlands webinar

In this Leading Minds episode, hear David Gemmell, Director - Ground Risk and Remediation, discuss the various guidance documents and planning considerations related to developments on peatlands.

Leading Minds webinar programme LinkedIn banner. Text reads "Peat and your development: Planning considerations with David Gemmell, Tuesday 13th December 2022, 11am."

✔ Top tips

  • Check on-line mapping for your relevant region as early as possible to see if your development may be on or close to peatlands
  • If it is, check national and local policy for the appropriate approach to development on peatland. Each region also has its own dedicated peatland policies
  • Check for any international/national designations, as many peatlands are designated for ecological reasons
  • Follow the Peat Survey Flowchart below for overarching guidance 
  • Liaise with key regulators and stakeholders throughout decision making process to ensure there are no surprises at the decision stage
  • Consider other constraints, i.e. ecological, hydrological, peat landslide risk in iterative layout design
  • Take early consideration of peatland and associated constraints within your development proposals
  • Allow for survey and mitigations measures within your programme

× Things to avoid

  • Mapping is not always accurate, so avoid surveying only mapped areas. Initial Assessment requires full planning boundary to be surveyed - this also allows for subsequent layout iterations to be made
  • Surveying only developable areas based on early design. Designs can change significantly based on other constraints that come to light during the assessment process
  • Over designing to avoid deep (>1m) peat – regulators and stakeholders will accept development on deep (>1m) peat if the design is defensible
  • ‘Sham’ uses for peat re-use
  • Under-committing to habitat management, eg. peat restoration

Peat Survey Flowchart

When, why, how? Download the flowchart below to learn more about the steps to take in the peat surveying process.

Leading Minds Webinar Programme

Now entering its third year, our Leading Minds webinar series is hosted by technical experts from a variety of disciplines across our business. Each episode aims to guide you through legislative challenges, development risks and sustainable solutions to maximise the profitability of current and upcoming schemes. Whether you want to register for our upcoming webinars, or flick back through our catologue of previous webinar recordings and top tips, find out more below.

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David Gemmell

Director - Ground Risk and Remediation T: +44 131 555 5011 Email
Edinburgh - Atholl Exchange | UK

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