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Do I Need To Carry Out A Bat Survey?

If you’re planning a home extension, it might be a good idea to have a bat survey carried out sooner rather than later, or you may well find that your project faces lengthy delays, as a result.

Bats and their roosts are protected in England, Scotland and Wales under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, making it an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb them in such a way as to affect their ability to survive, breed, rear or nurture their young.

It is also an offence to damage or destroy a bat roost, whether it’s a resting or breeding place, no matter whether bats are present or not. You must also make sure that you don’t obstruct access to the roosts themselves.

You will need to satisfy your local planning authority that you have carried out a survey if necessary and brought in any mitigating measures to ensure the bats aren’t disturbed. Failure to do this will likely see your planning application refused. A survey will only be necessary, however, if there’s a reasonable likelihood that bats are present on site.

If you do need a survey, note that bats usually hibernate between November and March, so the survey would be best conducted between May and October, when bats are more active. A preliminary survey will be carried out to see if it’s likely that you do have bats, after which an activity survey can then be conducted.

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