SLR cut delays associated with bat surveys
New Low Impact Bat Class Licence saves time and money by allowing for easy removal of bats
SLR Consulting are helping developers and property managers save time and money as a result of a new licence which allows for the easy removal of bats.
The Low Impact Bat Class Licence, accredited by Natural England, permits approved ecologists to move low numbers of common bats off development sites without the need for consultation with the regulator.
Before the introduction of this new licence, the presence of even a single bat would require a developer to engage in a lengthy bat licence application process, delaying works for extended periods to allow for bat surveys and for Natural England to determine if the proposed mitigation or removal methods were suitable.
SLR senior field ecologist Dale Broadbent, who is one of a handful of ecologists who has been issued with the new licence, has been trialling the new approach on projects in the South East with positive results: ‘We recently implemented the new licence on two sites where a small number of bats were discovered in buildings that were scheduled for demolition,’ he said.
‘After undertaking a bat activity survey, we registered the sites with Natural England and demolition began within 15 days. This saved around eight weeks on the construction programme and allowed the contractor to set a specific date for demolition. We also estimate that this approach could save around £4,000 when compared with a standard licence application.
‘Using the new licence will allow projects to move ahead much quicker than the standard development licence method, potentially saving months of costly delays. Going forward, we will be recommending this approach where low numbers of bats are present in buildings.’
By the end of the year SLR say they expect to have two consultants registered to use the new Low Impact Bat Class Licence to complement their 15 ecologists who already hold Natural England survey licences.