Standingford House, Cave Street, St Clements

Ecology support and biodiversity gain for new offices in Oxford

Site:Standingford House



Nicholsons Lockhart Garratt provided ecological support to redevelopment of an office building in St Clements near Headington, Oxford, replacing an existing office building. Key constraints on the site were (low) potential for roosting bats, and requirement for Biodiversity Net Gain. Nicholsons Lockhart Garratt were able to confirm the likely absence of bats on site, and consult closely with the client to create a landscape design that produced a healthy net gain under the latest DEFRA metric. Planning consent for this project is currently awaiting decision, with the application submitted in June 2022.


  • Consultation with design team when creating the landscape plan for the proposed development.
  • 24.67% net gain achieved.
  • Bats scoped out through appropriate survey.


Standingford House, Cave Street is a single three storey office building located within St Clements, near Headington, Oxford.  The building was still in active use at the start of our involvement in 2021, however, much of the wider site with the exception of the car park had become unmanaged and overgrown. The River Cherwell is located approximately 50m to the north of the site and the site itself lies adjacent to the River Cherwell Conservation Target Area. The client engaged Nicholsons Lockhart Garratt as the ecologists for redevelopment of the site to construct a part-two / part-three storey office building with associated infrastructure and landscaping.


Following a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal and further ecological survey works in respect of bats, it was determined that there were no outstanding ecological constraints associated with the proposed development. However, the project also had to achieve a minimum 5% net biodiversity gain in accordance with local planning policy.

What we did

Led by Rachel Jackson, Nicholsons Lockhart Garratt worked closely with the client to maximise the biodiversity potential of the scheme, including utilising the roof spaces on the new proposed building to create high value areas for biodiversity in the form of green roofs. A 24.67% net gain was achieved for the proposals, together with wider biodiversity benefits which integrated with the scheme design such as bird and bat boxes.


The scheme was submitted for planning approval in June 2022 and is currently awaiting decision.



A biodiversity net gain score of 20.23% was achieved under this approach, together with a 100% increase in hedgerow score. This will be an advantage for gaining planning consent as the application is submitted.