UES is currently preparing a European Protected Species License application for bats, which is issued by Natural England. The application is for the demolition and redevelopment of a disused care home owned by Warwickshire County Council. The new development will be a bespoke building designed to provide independent living accommodation for adults with learning disabilities in the county of Warwickshire.

UES initially conducted a bat presence / absence survey in the summer of 2012. The local area provides ideal habitat for bats with many old stone structures and historic buildings present, and areas of open parkland habitat including blocks of mature trees and countryside hedgerows within 500m. In general terms, the surrounding habitats provide good quality foraging, roosting and commuting opportunities for bats.

The surveys recorded two species of bats foraging in the area: Common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) and Noctule (Nyctalus noctula).

In the UK and Europe bats are a protected species and as a result developments with the potential to impact on bats must apply for a European Protected Species License through Natural England. This can be a complicated process and requires specialist knowledge of bats and their protection. UES is experienced in applying for and being granted European Protected Species Licenses for a variety of projects.

The European Protected Species Licence for bats is made up of 3 separate documents: application document, reasoned statement and method statement.

Application Document: including personal details of the applicant and ecologist, qualifications, purpose of the work, species affected and activities to be licenced.

Method Statement: to determine the impact of the application on the favourable conservation status of the species concerned in terms of Regulation 44(3)(b).

Regulation 44(3)(b) – that the action proposed ‘will not be detrimental to the maintenance of the population of the species concerned at a favourable conservation status in their natural range’

Reasoned Statement: reasoning behind the development including consideration of the proposed activity in terms of Regulation 44(2)(e) and 44(3)(a).

Regulation 44(2)(e) – that its purpose is ‘in the interests of public health and public safety, or for other imperative reasons of overriding public interest, including those of a social or economic nature and beneficial consequences of primary importance for the environment’
Regulation 44(3)(a) – that ‘there is no satisfactory alternative’