For any development which may require planning permission from your local planning authority (LPA), the LPA need to fully consider the likely ecological impacts of the proposed works.
All native bat species are fully protected by nature conservation legislation. In brief, these legislative instruments make it an offence to deliberately or recklessly kill, injure or capture any bat. Roosts are protected from damage or destruction, furthermore it is illegal to deliberately disturb a bat whether roosting or otherwise.
What can affect bat species or their roosts?
Extensions to buildings
Renovations to buildings
Removal of trees or hedgerows
Change of use of a site
Development of roads or bridges
Roof and loft works
What needs to be done?
Phase 1 Survey (Preliminary Roost Assessment)
This initial survey confirms the likely presence/absence of bats
Phase 2 Surveys (Bat Activity Surveys)
Seasonal bat dusk/dawn surveys which provides an understanding of how the site is utilised by bats
European Protected Species Licence
A comprehensive mitigation and compensation package to demonstrate to the LPA and Natural England that bats will be protected in the short, medium and long-term
Bat Licensed Watching Brief
Upon licence being granted, mitigation may include works carried under Licensed Supervision
Phase 1 Surveys -
Preliminary Roost Assessment
The Preliminary Roost Assessment is primarily focused on determining the presence or likely absence of features with potential to support roosting bats, which if present could be impacted under development proposals. This will entail a thorough internal and external assessment of any buildings to identify any direct evidence of bat habitation, as well as features suitable to support bats. A ground assessment of any trees with potential of bat habitation is also undertaken during this Phase 1 survey.
Bat Tree Inspection
This assessment will take the form of an aerial inspection, using rope access, by two bat licenced ecologists qualified to NPTC CS38 Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue. This is a highly cost-effective approach, allowing us to quickly and reliably assess individual trees, making use of endoscopes and high-power torches. Provided that no roosts are identified, the respective trees may be removed without risk of liability under wildlife conservation legislation.
Phase 2 Surveys - Seasonal
Bat Activity Surveys
In accordance with current industry guidelines published by the Bat Conservation Trust, dusk/dawn surveys will confirm the presence or likely absence of an active bat roost, determine its character and identify the species of any roost present . This process is essential not only in supporting a planning application but also, if necessary, in designing an appropriate impact mitigation scheme to satisfy Natural England, and secure a European Protected Species Mitigation (EPSM) Licence, should it be concluded that a roost will be adversely affected by the proposals.
Ecologists will be positioned outside potential roost features and will use ultrasonic detectors to identify bats as they leave or return to the roost. This work will be carried out in accordance with the Best Practice Guidelines published by the Bat Conservation Trust (available online at: http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/guidanceforprofessionals.html) and the new British Standard 42020:2013 Biodiversity - Code of Practice for Planning and Development.
Bat Transect Surveys
These surveys comprise a pre-determined transect at dusk that focuses on suspected bat foraging and commuting paths such as treelines and hedgerows. Listening points are identified whereby the surveyor will stop and observe for a minimum of three minutes.
European Protected Species Licence Application
An application for an EPSM licence comprises three elements – an application form, a Reasoned Statement and a Method Statement which will set out the means of impact avoidance, mitigation and compensation with respect to roosting bats.
Bat Licensed Watching Brief
In line with requirements of an EPSM licence for bats, granted works may require to be undertaken under the supervision of a Bat Licensed Ecologist. This supervision includes a pre-works inspection, ecological toolbox talk to all contractors, ecological supervision of works on-site and inspection of any replacement roost features. The Ecologist will provide written confirmation once supervision has been completed detailing their consent for works to continue.
If you require support for your project please call the enims team on 0845 644 0196.