Bats are one of the most common protected species that can affect your construction project. Read on to learn about what to do if you encounter them in your property or building plot.
Bats are endangered and vulnerable and as you would expect, some species more than others. They are protected by legislation and it’s imperative that you deal with them in the correct and sensitive way.
If there is a possibility that you may have bats in or around your property, then you need to account for them as part of your planning application.
Bats & the law
Bats are protected by UK legislation, under the Habitats Regulations and the Wildlife Countryside Act. It is actually an offence to disturb bats in their roost or to damage, destroy or block access to a roost as well as capture or kill them.
If there is any possibility that these fascinating creatures may be present at your property, then you’ll need to have a bat survey completed by a professional before you make your planning application.
Should you discover that bats are present, you must seek the assistance of a specialist with a bat license. If you breach any of the laws regarding the disturbance or relocation of bats, it may result in harsh fines or even imprisonment.
Timing is crucial too, as certain bat surveys can only be carried out at certain times of the year, usually during bat roosting season, and therefore this could potentially delay your application and project if it is not considered early enough.
Note however that there are often simple ways to deal with the presence of bats, often by retaining existing habitats or introducing new roosting locations such as proprietary bat boxes within newly constructed external walls for example.
Where do bats live?
Typically, you will find that a bat will tend to roost in any long-standing structure such as a house, garage, barn or similar. Bats don’t just live in the countryside either; they can live in towns and cities too.
It’s important to consider a bat survey when seeking planning approval – even with a modern house; they could find favour in your property. Local Authorities usually keep records of areas where bats are known to be present and so this is often a good place to start.
If you would like to explore further about bat surveys and how they can be dealt with as part of your project, we are able to advise and recommend on the steps needed.
Please do get in touch with us for more information and to discuss the likely requirements in your specific case.