You may have been asked to provide a bat survey to your local planning department but you have never seen any bats in your building. Homeowners and developers often become confused about whether or not they require a survey at their property and the fact is that many bats are small and hard to spot.
All 18 species of bats in the UK are legally protected under British and EU legislation. Where a bat survey is required by the local planning authority, it must meet the recognised guidelines and have been produced by a suitably qualified ecologist. No, this isn’t something that can be produced at home. It is in fact a criminal offense to disturb roosting bats. Before any planning development or renovation can take place, bats and their environment must be taken into account.
Before Any Development Can Take Place…
A bat’s environment must be considered. Local planning authorities are obliged by law to consider the impact that any development may have on a bat’s living space. By carrying out a bat survey, architects, homeowners and developers can prove that they have considered bats and their roosting spots before applying for planning permission. Bat surveys must be carried out before a planning application can be submitted and after that, a decision can be made on whether the development plans can be rejected or accepted.
Who Will Carry Out My Bat Survey?
There is no such thing as a DIY bat survey. They must be carried out by licensed professionals. Companies like Arbtech are trained professionally to carry out bat surveys which will be accepted by local planning authorities. Anyone unlicensed surveyors will have their evidence disregarded by planners so it is much easier to approach the professionals in the first place.
When Can I Have My Bat Survey Carried Out?
Initial Assessments can be carried out at any time during the year but phase 2 surveys must be undertaken during May and September. It is at this time that bats are most likely to be in their habitat and thus, it is at this time that a survey will be most accurate. Photo Credit: USFWS Headquarters CC