Bat surveys for planning

Bat surveys for planning

Local authorities in Scotland are required to consider bats (and other protected species) in every application they receive.  They must assess if bats could possibly roost on a site and if the answer is yes, they’ll require a bat survey, to find out. In most cases they won’t grant planning consent with a condition that a bat survey be done: the survey must be done before consent can be granted.

Bat surveys are a two-part process. Stage 1 (also called a Preliminary Roost Assessment, or PRA) is a visual inspection, carried out in daylight at any time of year and also assesses surrounding habitat. Sometimes bat roosts are found, but the most common outcome is either to confirm that there is are no roosting opportunities or to recommend a stage 2 survey.

Stage 2 surveys are carried out at night, using ultrasound bat detectors and infrared video to identify active bat roosts. In Scotland they must be done between 1 May and 30 September, with at least one visit prior to 31 August.

If you are considering work which requires planning consent, it’s always worth speaking informally to a bat specialist at David Dodds Associates at the outset, to find out whether a bat survey is likely to be required. Waiting for the planning authority to ask for it can lead to problems, due to the limited season for stage 2 bat surveys.

Contact our team of ecologists

If you have any questions about bats or other protected species, what to do about organising a survey or general information, we welcome your enquiry.
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Thank you for your help in doing the survey, and the speed of your response. Charlotte seemed very knowledgable. She was very helpful and happy to respond to our questions! Your report gave us all the answers we needed.

Chris Gunstone, Tyninghame Village Hall Committee, East Lothian