If you have been asked to undertake a bat survey by your local planning authority, this page will help you to understand the process.
Why Have I Been Asked to Undertake a Bat Survey?
In Britain, all bat species and their roosts are legally protected by both domestic and international legislation. It is an offence to:
- Deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat
- Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or deliberately disturb a group of bats
- Damage or destroy a bat roosting place (even if bats are not occupying the roost at the time)
- Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a bat roost
When considering the approval of your development proposals, the local planning authority and licensing agencies require information to determine the effects of the development on bats, to identify which species, if any, are present and to identify if mitigation, compensation or enhancement measures are required.
Habitat Regulations Licence
If bats are found during the survey it is likely that a Habitats Regulations licence will be required before works can commence. In Wales, these licences are issued by Natural Resources Wales. The licence application will need to be accompanied by a detailed method statement which sets out the activities to be carried out and ensures that bats will not be harmed during construction works. The method statement must ensure that provision is made for new roosting opportunities after the completion of development works.
Can Bats Stop a Development?
It is very unlikely that bats will stop a development, although measures may need be incorporated into the development to allow bats to continue using the site after the completion of development works.
What Time of Year Can a Survey be Undertaken?
The timing of bat surveys is very important. A scoping survey or preliminary roost inspection can be undertaken throughout the year to assess the potential of a building/structure being used by bats. However, if the survey determines that the structure has potential to be used by bats, dawn and dusk surveys will need to be undertaken during the active season (late April – September). Conversely, if a building is assessed as potentially being used as a hibernation site, a winter survey may be required. Click here for more information on bat surveys.
How Acer Ecology Can Help You
We can assist you by undertaking an initial scoping survey to assess the potential for bats to be present on your site. Expert advice will be provided on the options and solutions available. If a European Protected Species licence is required we can complete and submit your licence application. Upon approval of the licence we can provide continued assistance to help you ensure that the terms of the licence are adhered to.
For more information about bat surveys or any of our other ecological services call us on 029 2065 0331.