Bats and their roosts are protected by law and should be considered during the planning process. BCT does not currently have the capacity to get involved in individual cases and cannot advise on planning over the phone. However, we have compiled advice below which may assist you in taking the appropriate action to protect bats.

More in-depth advice on planning and development can be downloaded here

The local planning authority should be notified of all genuine concerns there is a risk that a development will impact upon bats. The section below, 'Notifying the Local Planning Authority' provides guidance on how best to raise your concerns in these instances.

Notifying the Local Planning Authority

1. Is there evidence of a confirmed roost on the site to be developed?

YES - When faced with clear evidence of a bat roost on site we would always expect the LPA to request that a bat survey is conducted. From this survey an appropriate method statement should be produced, prior to granting planning permission.

NO - If there is no roost on site then it may not be necessary for a bat survey to be conducted. However, if bat activity of any sort is reported to the LPA then we would expect a bat survey to be carried out to establish whether a bat roost is present or absent on site. Other triggers for a bat survey can be viewed here.

DON'T KNOW - How can I find out?

  • Local bat groups often keep local records of known roosts. Find your nearest bat group here. Please note that these groups are voluntary organisations and many do not have the resources to respond to planning related enquires.
  • Contact your local record centre. They may hold information about bats rather than the bat group.
  • Speak to other residents or local wildlife groups and find out if there are records / knowledge of a roost in the area.

Please note that Planning Officers will be influenced by facts, so concerns that are supported by strong evidence will carry greater weight.

2. Has a bat survey been carried out?

Bat surveys should be carried out prior to planning permission being granted. However even if permission has already been granted the Local Planning Authority still has a legal obligation to consider protected species and act to save bats and their roosts.

YES - Great, this is positive news (now go to Question 3)

NO - You should make a direct request to the LPA for a bat survey to be carried out (advice on how best to do this can be downloaded here). Your request should be supported by information highlighting the presence of bats on site or outlining the high potential for bats to be present (see Question 1).

DON'T KNOW - How can I find out?

All ecological reports associated with the planning application, including bat surveys, must be freely available for the public to view.

Details for planning applications can be found through the following links:

3. Are you happy with the survey effort and the proposed mitigation?

YES - Great, this is positive (now go to Question 4)

NO - You should contact the LPA with your concerns, outlining the reasons why you believe the survey effort to have been inadequate (advice on how best to do this can be downloaded here).

DON'T KNOW - How can I find out?

Our Bat Survey Guidelines should give you an indication of the survey effort to expect in various circumstances (a summary sheet can be found here). Any obvious deviation from expected survey effort should be highlighted to the LPA and further surveys requested.

Appropriate mitigation will vary on a case by case basis. However our sister site, Roost (in construction), outlines best practice guidelines and contains case studies highlighting effective mitigation. Again, the LPA should be notified of any obvious deviation from 'appropriate mitigation'.

4. If planning permission has been granted, have the ecologist's recommendations for bats been made a planning condition?

YES - Great, this is positive. Ideally, all bat roosts would remain untouched. However where this is not possible, following the planning protocol will help to ensure that appropriate mitigation measures are put in place to lessen the impact on bats.

NO - Contact the LPA to determine why this has not happened. Under the Habitats Regulations local authorities are legally obligated to consider protected species.

DON'T KNOW - How can I find out?

Once a decision has been made by a Planning Service a decision notice is issued. This will list any planning conditions which may be attached to the planning permission and members of the public may request a copy from the planning office.

Details for your Local Planning Authority can be found through the following links: