The Dorset Biodiversity Appraisal Protocol (DBAP) is Dorset Council’s preferred mechanism to address impacts on biodiversity from planning applications and Listed Building Consents (LBCs). 

The DBAP is designed to deal simply with the requirement to address impacts of development on protected species and important habitats. By submitting your application to the DBAP review you are provided with an independent certification by Dorset Council’s Natural Environment Team (NET) which is recognised by the planning authority that your application. This indicates that your application adheres to the relevant wildlife legislation and policies and assures the Planning Team that the application will not have a negative impact on biodiversity. 

Please note that the DBAP only addresses the onsite impacts to biodiversity. Impacts to the Nationally designated sites for wildlife (SSSI, SAC, SPA, Ramsar) are assessed by Natural England. Your planning officer will consult with them where applicable as part of the planning process. Where your application is likely to impact a nearby SNCI, the Dorset Wildlife Trust will be consulted.

When does the DBAP apply?

The DBAP applies to all development sites of 0.1ha or greater in size, where there are known protected species or important habitats/habitat features, or where there is likely to be an impact on biodiversity. All planning applications are required to complete the Biodiversity Checklist as part of the validation requirement. The checklist will indicate what ecological information is required to be provided in support of your application and whether it is within the DBAP scope, if there is any doubt as to whether the site includes important habitats/habitat features. 

DBAP process

Where an application is within the scope of the DBAP, the applicant is responsible for submitting their ecological information to the NET for review and certification. This is a separate process which runs alongside the planning application process. There are different documentation requirements for different types of applications. Please see the Planning for Biodiversity webpage for more information on what ecological information you are required to support a planning application.  

  • The Ecologist submits the Ecology Report(s) (and completed Biodiversity Plan for householder, Listed Building Consent and standalone barn conversions only, word and pdf versions available) directly to the Dorset Council Natural Environment Team (NET) via e-mail along with the associated review fee
  • The NET review the Ecology Report(s) to ensure it meets the applicable wildlife legislation, national and local planning policies. The review process may include the NET requesting changes to the Ecology Report(s) or Biodiversity Plan before approval
  • When satisfied, the NET will send the Certificate of Approval and approved Biodiversity Plan (if applicable)
  • The Certificate of Approval and associated Ecology Report(s) or approved Biodiversity Plan (if applicable) can then be submitted by the applicant to the planning team prior to a decision being made on the planning application
  • The NET certified Ecology Report(s) will be conditioned to the permission, if granted, and the applicant is responsible for complying with all measures

DBAP guidance documents

We have produced guidance documents on the required standard of submission of survey information and how to complete the BP form (word and pdf version available) for Householder, Listed Building Consent and standalone barn conversions. The guidance documents are designed to inform your ecologist so that they can provide the required information.  

You can download:

Archived guidance 

  • Section C: Compensation

The Dorset Compensation Framework

Due to the confirmed implementation of the mandatory provision of 10% Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) across major applications from the 12 of February 2024, the mechanism in which Dorset Council secures financial compensation for the loss of on-site biodiversity interests has changed. As such, from the 12 February 2024 the Dorset Biodiversity Compensation Framework will be fully decommissioned for all application types as habitat compensation will be secured through BNG. If your project is likely to require offsite compensation for the loss of biodiversity onsite prior to this date, please speak to a member of the Natural Environment Team to discuss the options available. 


View the current fee structure for the DBAP submissions.

A small increase is made annually in-line with inflation.

Payment of fees

Fees can be paid:

  • online
  • by card by calling 01305 228602 or 01305 228608. If paying by card please state that the payment is being made for Biodiversity Appraisal and give the site address
  • by cheque; made payable to Dorset Council and sent to the Natural Environment Team

What happens if DC NET refuse to approve a BP or ecology report? 

If the BP or ecology report cannot be approved because it does not comply with the DBAP guidance, a planning application or LBC can still be submitted. When this happens, NET will write to the planning authority to explain why the BP or EcIA was not approved. In these cases, the application will be considered by the planning authority using Natural England’s Standing Advice and will consult as required with the relevant conservation bodies. 

Standard NET BP forms, or ecology reports, that are not accompanied by a NET issued Certificate of Approval are not valid under the DBAP and the planning authority will not determine an application until approval is gained from the NET. 

Contact us

For further information and advice please contact the Natural Environment Team.

Natural Environment Team

Tel: 01305 224931
Full contact details