Bat Low Impact Class Licence
We are pleased to announce that our Managing Director Toby Hart is now one of only a handful of registered consultants in the North West of England. Natural England introduced the new Bat Mitigation Class Licence (BMCL) in 2015, previously known as the Bat Low Impact Class Licence.
Similar to the Bat Low Impact Class Licence the Bat Mitigation Class Licence can only be used under specific conditions to cover the disturbance and/or capture of bats and/or damage or destruction of bats roosts.
- When the bat roost is of lower conservation significance. i.e. feeding perches/roosts, days and night roosts, affecting
- When the development disturbs no more than 3 of the more common species of bats present in low numbers.
The 7 common species covered are Common pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus, Soprano pipistrelle Pipistrellus pygmaeus, Brown long-eared Plecotus auritus, Whiskered Myotis mystacinus, Brandt’s Myotis brandtii, Daubenton’s Myotis daubentonii and Natterer’s Myotis nattereri.
When is the licence required?
A Bat Mitigation Class Licence / Bat Low Impact Class Licence is only required if bats have been identified as roosting within the building or trees due to be impacted by development. If you require a bat survey to establish if bats will be impacted by your development, please visit our Bat Surveys page for more details.
The starting point to determine if bats will be impacted by a development is to undertake a bat scoping survey. The survey will assess a building or tree for bat roost potential and give a rating ranging from negligible, low, moderate to high. If the building or tree is assessed as having negligible potential to support roosting bats, no further survey work is required. If the rating is low-high, additional bat presence / absence surveys are required in the bat survey season May – August (inclusive) to determine if bats are utilising the building or tree.
Bat presence / absence surveys involve the building or tree being monitored by suitably qualified ecologists and sophisticated bat monitoring equipment at dusk and/or dawn. If bats are identified as using the building or tree a licence will be required.
When can the licence be applied for?
The Bat Low Impact Class Licence can only be applied for once planning permission has been granted and all ecological conditions within the local planning authorities decision notice have been discharged. It takes UES approximately 1 week to submit the licence application, subject to receiving adequate design details, including proposed timescales and detailed architectural drawings. Natural England then have a statutory turnaround time of 10 working days to review and issue the licence however sometimes this is exceeded.
What are the benefits?
A Bat Mitigation Class Licence / Bat Low Impact Class Licence is a much cheaper and quicker alternative to a full European Protected Species Licence that is required for developments that have large numbers or uncommon species of bats. The local planning authority also require the submission of a bat method statement for review if a full European Protected Species Licence is needed. Natural England and Natural Resources Wales have a statutory turnaround time of 30 working days to review a full European Protected Species licence application however this is often exceeded. In addition, Natural England charge a fee to process the European Protected Species Licence, charged at an hourly rate of £101 per hour or a flat fee of £500. In comparison to processing the Bat Mitigation Class Licence / Bat Low Impact Class Licence at a set fee of £130.
What happens next?
When the Bat Mitigation Class Licence / Bat Low Impact Class Licence is granted, work can start on site. The mitigation measures detailed within the licence usually state that compensation roosts are required in the form of bat boxes, these can either be integrated into the building or attached to mature trees within the site boundary. A bat ecological clerk of works is usually required to attend site to oversea the initial demolition / site clearance:
– toolbox talk to contractors
– licenced bat ecologist/ECoW to inspect roost areas
– licenced bat ecologist/ECoW to oversee works
– licenced bat ecologist/ECoW for the supervision of soft demolition/sealing of roost areas
– licenced bat ecologist/ECoW to oversee the installation of bat boxes
For information on the bat mitigation class licence, click the below links: