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:
Â·There must be a licensable purposeâ€™, drawn from
a set list.
Â·All reasonable alternatives must have been
Â·The â€˜favourable conservation statusâ€™ 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.