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Considering the Likelihood of Bats Being Affected by Works

Bat roosts can be affected directly (e.g. demolition, renovation) or indirectly (e.g. lighting, isolation) and it is advisable for developers to consult with an ecologist at the early stages of design to consider whether or not the proposals could affect structures that might be suitable for bats.

If there are potentially suitable structures on site, but the development proposals are unlikely to affect these, then a short statement written by a suitably qualified ecologist should be prepared in support of planning.  Such a statement should clearly demonstrate that bats have been considered and the reasons why no impacts are anticipated. 

In some instances some potential impacts may be identified and it might be possible to demonstrate that the scheme can incorporate appropriate mitigation to maintain favourable conservation status regardless of the outcome of further surveys.  An example of where this might be possible could be short-term renovation projects where the site conditions will not significantly change.  Whilst this might avoid the need for detailed surveys at planning, it should be noted that surveys would be required in advance of works (planning permission does not override the legislation).  In such instances, a detailed statement prepared by a suitably qualified ecologist should be submitted in support of planning again clearly demonstrating that bats have been considered, the measures that will be taken to avoid impacts and maintain favourable conservation status, and the further surveys to be undertaken prior to works.  This approach has several risks associated with it including: a) the Local Planning Authority not being satisfied; and, b) a worst case scenario should be assumed, which may lead to costly mitigation that isn’t actually required.  As such it is only really appropriate in extreme circumstances.

Where development proposals cannot avoid potentially suitable bat roosting structures and the scheme can result in significant changes to the site further surveys are likely to be required in advance of planning.

 Click here to continue to "Bat Mitigation Strategies to Support Planning".

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Taylor Wimpey, Welsh Power, Morgan Cole, DPDS Consulting, Wates Developments, WSP, Gamesa