Did you know that there are actually 18 different species in the UK but that, according to many surveys both new and old, almost all of these are believed to be in decline?
Recognised as a very real problem, in 1981 the UK Government passed the Wildlife and Countryside Act which resulted in each and every UK species of bats being protected under UK law. Whilst bat surveys had existing before this time (primarily for academic purposes), this was essentially the dawn of commercial bat surveys in the UK.
So what does this mean for your development? Well, put simply it is now against the law to kill, disturb, capture or injure bats or even to damage their natural nesting sites. Substantial case law generated over the past 30 years has led to significant fines being imposed on contractors, developers and local authorities alike. The really worrying thing is that many of these organisations did actually go to the effort of approaching a reputable bat surveys firm prior to starting on site. So where did they go wrong and why have they ended up out of pocket? Well, under later EU legislation a local authority is obliged to refuse planning permission out of hand unless suitable bat surveys have been carried out and the following three conditions have been met…
- The development must be absolutely imperative and for significant health and safety or public interest purposes.
- All other avenues must have been thoroughly investigated.
- Conservation of the bats must be paramount and should take precedence over the cost and schedule of the project.
Our licensed bat surveys teams are only a phone call away and are more than happy to talk about bat surveys for your project. Why not call our office on 0151 726 8334?