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Bat survey for planning permission?

(15 Posts)
ohnoyou Tue 01-Apr-14 16:46:55

Ok, so we've now been told we need a bat survey. Does anyone have any experience of this, cost, time etc. Or recommendations? We're in the south east, in a 3 bedroom semi. We've lived here 7 years and have not seen or heard any evidence of bats. Our builder who is local and has worked in the area for 20 years has no experience of this either, so any help words of advice would be much appreciated. Many thanks.

coffeegonzo Tue 01-Apr-14 17:46:11

Hi ohno- yes we've had the bat survey shenanigans...they take it really seriously. There are various laws involved.
Ours was complicated by the fact that the architect/man who did the drawings for our barn conversion copied someone else's to speed things up......

In the end two young guys sat outside our derelict barn for two or three consecutive summer evenings and wrote a report to say they didn't see any bats coming in or out. I think the surveys have to be done within a specific time period, so you can look that up otherwise you could miss it and it can set you back months.
If there are bats around, you can have a bat box designed into the conversion I think.

ohnoyou Tue 01-Apr-14 18:14:37

Thanks coffee, I'm don't think we've got bats and I'm surprised there asking for this as there's no major roof works involved. Although I suppose we are taking down an old garage, so maybe it's that? Thanks again.

eskinosekiss Tue 01-Apr-14 19:31:39

Can I hijack?

I know we have bats - I have some lovely footage of them last summer. They seem to roost in the apex of our roof. We are planning to add a conservatory to our house (so single story). Would we need to get a bat survey?

Grockle Tue 01-Apr-14 19:34:09

Have you contacted your local bat group? Or Natural England (or whatever they are called now?)

I should know about this because it's my Dad's job. And my mum just had one done. I can see what I can find out.

ohnoyou Tue 01-Apr-14 20:16:23

Eski, yes you're welcome to hijack smile.
Grockle, I've looked online at bat groups, but it seems to be that you have to go within a certain criteria outlined by the council. At the moment it seems to be a minimum of £300 + for initial survey, so with VAT probably closer to £400. We can't find anything which suggests we have bats, and I'm worried the costs will escalate to £1000 +, and also delay plans.
For the record, we love wildlife, we're certainly not trying to endanger it, it just seems bizarre that we're being asked for this survey and we're not sure why, when we've no evidence of bats. So I suppose I was after peoples experience so we know what to expect.
Our architect say's we could argue that the roof structure, which is to be removed is only about 11 x 7 foot, and not a major consideration, but is this a valid point? Or is the old garage taken into consideration?
Anyway thanks for responses.

AnotherFurry Tue 01-Apr-14 20:29:57

I can't remember the specifics but we had the choice of paying for our own survey or going with a local bat conservation org which didn't charge but did accept donations. I think with the conservation group you may have to wait a bit before they could do it but for us they did it within the week, was really nice and gave advice on what to do if we founds bats at a later date when the building work had started.

We had the odd bat drooping but it was deemed to be old with no evidence of recent activity so no issues with the planning permission. They seemed to be very sensible when chatting to us in that even if they had found recent bat activity they would have only recommended restricting our work during the bat breeding/rearing season.

AnotherFurry Tue 01-Apr-14 20:33:24

Droppings not droopings. Sorry for typos as on iPad.

ohnoyou Tue 01-Apr-14 20:45:32

AnotherFurry, that's interesting thank you. Can I ask how long ago that was? I would much rather pay a bat conservationist than a commercial organisation.

AnotherFurry Tue 01-Apr-14 20:57:28

It was about 3 years ago. I have been trying to remember how I found them but can't remember the actual details but I know the person who did the drawings for our extension mentioned that we would need a bat survey and I think I must have looked up the options from the council.

I would recommend you phone the planning department and ask who they accept surveys from before paying out as like you I felt much better giving a donation to a conservation group which benefitted them and was cheaper for us as well.

AnotherFurry Tue 01-Apr-14 21:05:47

Oh and from recollection they ask for a survey for any work that involves altering a roof so it tends to be a standard planning permission requirement.

ohnoyou Tue 01-Apr-14 21:20:59

Thanks Anotherfurry, that's interesting to know. I will speak to the local bat people and see what I can find out.

heritagewarrior Tue 01-Apr-14 21:26:12

If you discover bats whilst work is going on you will have to Immediately stop work whilst a mitigation exercise is carried out or a licence is applied for. This could result in a lot of extra expense for you, and if you don't, and harm or otherwise disturb bats, it is a criminal offence.

Local bat groups will come and do a free assessment of whether bats are present. Your local Natural England office can advise you on how to get in touch with one. If bats are present, the bat group and NE can advise you on employing a licensed ecologist to do a proper survey, come up with a mitigation strategy (timing the work to avoid maternity roosts or bat boxes etc) and/or apply for a licence. This is not cheap, but could save you greater expense in the long term.

Hope that helps smile

AnotherFurry Tue 01-Apr-14 21:40:26

heritagewarrior that is why I think some councils make you have an initial survey now before they will even grant planning permission before altering/removing any roof area, especially garages which can be a nice roosting place to avoid the disruption if you find them during the alterations.

ohnoyou Tue 01-Apr-14 21:44:14

Thanks heritage. We will get in touch with the local bat group, we're going for planning permission which I think has an effect on the free assessment. However, we would still prefer to pay a bat group to do an assessment then some random from the internet.
I shall call them and see what they say.
Thanks again.

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