Bat licensing and mitigation

Bat licensing and mitigation

Our bat specialists are often asked by concerned clients what will happen if a bat survey finds a bat roost. In this situation the survey report will offer a suggested course of action.

The starting point is to consider whether the roost will be impacted by the proposed work. If it is in a building which is to be demolished or substantially changed, then it is very likely to be. However, in some cases the roost may not be in an impacted area or it may be possible to work around it or carry out work when it is unoccupied (for example in winter).

If the proposed work will disturb (e.g. by noise or vibration), destroy or block access to the roost then a criminal offence would be committed and we would need to obtain a development license on your behalf.

For a licence to be issued, three legal tests must be met:  

·       There must be a licensable purpose’, drawn from a set list.

·       All reasonable alternatives must have been considered.  

·       The ‘favourable conservation status’ of the bat species must be undiminished.

In practice we prepare a bat protection plan, which aims to minimise disturbance/harm and provide compensatory roosting opportunities, which can be anything from a small group of bat boxes to a specially created structure. The bat species, numbers and the way in which they use the roost all influence what is necessary.

License applications can take up to 8 weeks to process in Scotland (though usually less). Small, non-breeding roosts of our two least threatened species can be licensed rapidly under the BLIMP (bat low impact) licensing system. Our bat specialists are specially licensed by NatureScot to implement this system. During 2018-20 all urban bat roosts and 71% of rural bat roosts we found on surveys were able to be licensed this way.

Our bat specialists are here to help with the licensing and mitigation process and David Dodds Associates have over one and a half decades experience, managing many hundreds of licenses for our clients.

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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Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) has used David Dodds Associates and their services for projects that required their extensive and specialist expertise. David has not only assisted in a prompt and professional manner he also provided a welcomed insight into the world of bat protection, articulating how best to approach situations to ensure SRUC deliver projects whilst the species, environment and landscape remain protected

Leeanne Price, SRUC, Penicuik