Herefordshire Council offers an Environmental Advice Service (EAS) as part of a paid service offered by the Built and Natural Environment Service.

The Environmental Advice Service can assist developers with bringing forward private mitigation schemes to offset the nutrient budget of development proposals.

Projects which may benefit from the advice of the EAS include:

  • Phosphate mitigation projects
    • Integrated wetlands
    • Agricultural land use and practice changes
    • Foul water system upgrades
    • Phosphate banking
  • Projects aimed at managing and disposing of phosphate rich agricultural products
    • Anaerobic digestion particularly relating to digestion of poultry litter
    • Installation of chicken litter boilers for the purposes of heating poultry houses
    • Pyrolysis for the purposes of producing biochar
  • Biodiversity Net Gain Banking proposals

EAS and planning

The service is available both for projects which require planning permission and also for projects which do not require other consents. Our advice will focus around the environmental impacts of the project.

Where planning permission is required, our Environmental advice service is separate to the planning process and it may therefore be appropriate to also seek pre-application advice from the Council relating to the acceptability of the proposal in planning terms. We are of course able to share our advice with the planning team as required.

View the planning pre-application advice webpage.

Proposals requiring legal agreements

Some proposals for which advice is sought, for example, phosphate banks and habitat banks, may require Section 106 or other legal agreements in due course. The drafting of those legal agreements is a separate process with associated fees which is carried out by the council’s Legal Team.

EAS and the Statutory Agencies

Some projects which seek advice through the EAS may also benefit from advice from Natural England (NE) (through their Discretionary Advice Service), from Environment Agency (EA) (through their Preliminary Opinion Enquiry process) or from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) (through their Preliminary Opinion service).

Where you feel your project may benefit from advice from either NE, EA or NRW the EAS is happy to co-ordinate that advice for you and we will work to incorporate the fees and timescales for those processes into our service. However, these fees and processes rely on elements charged and led by the statutory agencies themselves over which we have no control.

EAS process

Your EAS fee is set at a flat rate dependent on the complexities of the project you wish to discuss.

Where further elements of advice, or assessment of additional or amended materials are required beyond those included in our flat rate, further costs will be identified in advance. Our charging structure is set out in our Environmental Advice Service application guidance.

We will commit to turning your request around within our stated timeframes. Where third party advice is being sought as part of the EAS request the Council will communicate with you over projected timescales.

EAS fees

Requests to the EAS are classed as either ‘simple’ or ‘complex’.

Simple projects

Simple projects rely on established techniques and methodologies, use well known tools or are small in scale. Examples include:

  • Foul water system upgrades
  • Some methods of phosphate banking where only established and agreed methodologies are being used
  • Proposed biodiversity net gain habitat banks covering one location of up to 50ha
Fees for simple project

 A flat fee of £500 will be charged.

This will include: Up to four hours of officer time on the technical assessment of the project including the preparation of a report and one hour of meeting time (usually via video conferencing).

Complex projects

Complex projects rely on new techniques and technologies, deviate from standardised approaches, are unique or are large in scale. Larger habitat banks (over 50ha) or habitat banks across multiple sites would be considered to be complex projects.

Fees for complex projects

A flat fee of £1500 will be charged.

This will include: Up to six hours of officer time on initial technical assessment, one 90 minute meeting (usually via video conferencing), and up to a further five hours drawing together the outcomes of the meeting, any statutory advice sought and the preparation of a report.

VAT is applicable to our fees.

You can find more information on how we will classify your request and what is included within the fees in our EAS application guidance.

Make an EAS Application

Environmental Advice Service privacy notice

Apply for environmental advice

How to seek guidance on the EAS process

If you have a question about EAS, including whether it might be for you, how to classify your project or what supporting information we require, please feel free to contact the team at