Argus Ecology

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Property Redevelopment

From loft conversions of individual properties to large country house hotels, Argus Ecology has a strong track record in the successful resolution of bat and other protected species issues.

Bats receive a high level of protection under European and UK legislation, and it is a criminal offence to disturb roosts. Changes in the application and interpretation of legislation have led to local planning authorities requiring protected species surveys to be carried out at an early stage in the redevelopment process.

The level of survey required can range from a simple risk assessment, which describes and photographs features of the property which may be used by bats at different seasons, and searches for signs of occupancy. In many cases an emergence survey will be required, where observers equipped with bat detectors are stationed around a building at dusk, on at least two occasions within the May – August season.  Dawn surveys will usually be required, to detect bats returning to a roost.

In all cases, a search is carried out of local bat records to see if there are any known roosts in the vicinity. In most cases, results of surveys and searches will be negative, and the local planning authority can go on to determine the application.

If a roost is found, then a development licence will be required. This will place restrictions on the timing and method of working on the site, and will need mitigation measures to be agreed with Natural England.