Below are answers to frequently asked questions in relation to ecology, planning and development. If you cannot find an answer to a particular question, then contact us today.
What is a mitigation licence?
Where a development or activity affects a legally protected species (e.g. bats, great crested newt, dormouse, otter, water vole, badger, etc.) a licence may be required for works to be lawfully undertaken. This could include works that would damage or destroy the habitats of, or disturbance to, a protected species.
How much does a bat licence cost?
If your project is based in Wales, then currently a licence application is free. However, if your project is within England then Natural England now charge for certain licenses to be assessed, unless they meet one of the charge exemption criteria. For further information on charging, see our News Post.
Separate to the cost of the licence application you will also encounter fees from an ecological consultant to prepare the bat mitigation licence. We would strongly recommend that you choose an advisor who has demonstrative experience of preparing and submitting a bat licence. The forms are highly technical documents and Natural England do ask for further information if they are not completed correctly. Even for trivial matters, such as the wrong file name format! What this means is that inexperience can cost you both time and money.
Wildwood Ecology can provide you with reassurances that we have a high capability and 100% success rate of applying for and obtaining bat mitigation licences and site registration approvals.
What is a bat Licence?
Where a development or activity affects bats, then a licence may be required for works to be lawfully undertaken. This could include works that would damage or destroy a resting place (roosts) used by bats, or where there is a reasonable likelihood of disturbing bats.
Our specialists will prepare the bat mitigation licence application and detailed method statement on your behalf, consulting with relevant stakeholders as necessary. On approval of the licence we will implement the mitigation strategy and undertake any remaining ecological post-construction monitoring and reporting conditions. We have an excellent record of securing development licences enabling project works to proceed.
Bat Mitigation Class Licence
We are pleased to announce that Richard Dodd and Alex Pollard are Registered Ecological Consultants with Natural England and can apply for a Bat Mitigation Class Licence for sites that meet certain criteria.
The bat mitigation ‘low impact’ class licence allows a registered ecological consultant to interfere with certain bats and their roosts, such as a development or demolition where a day roost for common pipistrelle or night roost for brown long-eared bats has been confirmed.
The savings in both time and money can be substantial compared to sites where a full mitigation licence is required.
How long is a bat survey valid for?
The validity of a bat survey will depend on what stage you are at with your development.
For results of bat surveys submitted with a planning application these may last for up to eighteen months. Although you may be asked to provide reassurances from your ecologist that the site conditions have not significantly altered for results that are older than one year.
Once planning permission has been granted and where resting places (roosts) used by bats will be damaged or lost or where bats may be disturbed, then a bat licence will be required. For licence applications only the previous years results will be considered valid. For example, if your original bat surveys were undertaken in 2017 as part of a planning submission, then the results of those surveys would not be valid for a bat mitigation licence submitted in 2019. Further surveys will therefore be required before any licence could be assessed and determined.
However, if you need to re-survey (either for planning or onward licence application) this does not usually mean that you will have to undertake all those surveys again. It will depend on the period of delay, the type of development and the likelihood of significant change.