Arbtech was asked to carry out a Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA) at a former chapel and outbuilding in Buckley, North Wales. The request came from a client who had put in for a planning application. Flintshire County Council had requested the survey last minute, and the client instructed us on our next working day service. Our next working day service involves a site visit, with the report following the next working day. This service is often used by clients with a very tight planning deadline. The application was for the conversion of the former chapel into residential units and the demolition of the outbuilding. The preliminary roost assessment can also be referred to as a scoping bat survey, initial bat survey and first stage bat survey. The PRA survey is not season-specific and can be carried out all year round by a licenced ecologist.
About the Area
Buckley is a small community town located in Flintshire. Buckley is nearby to small villages including Alltami and Ewloe. Buckley is known ecologically for its large population of great crested newts, with one conservation site hosting a population of over 1000 great crested newts. Arbtech’s consultants, Louise and Mel volunteer each year to help with the great crest newt population counts in North East Wales. Arbtech’s head office is located on the border of North Wales, so we carry out a lot of work in this area.
What is involved
Our ASSET graduate and consultant, Louise, carried out the survey for this project. The survey involved an internal and external inspection of the two buildings on-site, to assess the suitability for roosting bats. The external checks in involved looking for any suitable roosting features that bats could utilise. Suitable external roosting features include missing or raised tiles, raised lead flashing and gaps in soffit boxes. An internal inspection looks for any evidence such as droppings or feeding remains. If bat evidence or suitable roosting features were found on-site, bat emergence and re-entry surveys would be required. The BER surveys determine, the presence or likely absence of bats or characterise the roost present.
As the former chapel had its roof and soffit boxes replaced less than two years before the survey was carried out, the structure appeared to be in excellent condition, with no suitable features to support roosting bats. The internal inspection found no bat evidence or suitable features. Louise concluded that the buildings had negligible ecological value to support roosting bats.
Louise produced the report for the client the next working day after the site visit. In the report, Louise made recommendations to install bat and bird boxes on-site as this will provide enhancements. The Local Planning Authority has a duty to ask for enhancements under the National Planning Policy Framework.
The Next Step
As no bat evidence or roosting features were found, no further survey effort is required. The report has been submitted to the local authority for planning approval.
Do you require a bat survey?
If you would like a bat survey and report for your project, please fill in the online form or give our head office a call on 01244 661170.
We also carry out other surveys including ecology, arboricultural and topographical surveys.