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Planning application support for homeowner

Many of our clients are homeowners, or their architects, who wish to develop or extend their properties and who discover, through the planning process, that their buildings may be providing roosts for bats. We at ECOSA pride ourselves on working to minimise the delays that the required surveys may cause and, where necessary, design solutions that will fit with the proposed scheme.

Client: Home owner

Objective: Extension of family home

Our clients inherited this home from an older family member who now requires care. The house has been in the family for decades and holds sentimental value for the clients. As the house was too small to accommodate the family, they proposed to extend it to provide modern living standards and suitable facilities to allow the older family member to stay in the home with them.

The clients' architect advised them that they would need to commission a bat survey, as the extension works would require the removal of hanging tiles, a feature popular with roosting bats. The clients called ECOSA and talked through the proposals. We were able to carry out an initial survey within five days of being commissioned, involving an internal and external inspection of the house. The survey identified that the hanging tiles provided numerous suitable roosting spaces for bats, and subsequently further bat dusk emergence surveys of the affected elevation to confirm the presence of roosting bats were recommended.

The bat surveys recorded three common pipistrelle bats roosting under the hanging tiles. Our report formed part of the planning application and once planning permission was granted, ECOSA prepared and submitted a European Protected Species Mitigation (EPSM) licence application. The licence was subsequently granted by Natural England.

Hanging tiles were removed under the supervision of a licensed bat worker, following a toolbox talk for contractors. The work was done at a time of year when the bats were least likely to be present, and none were found during the tile removal. This is a good result as no bats were disturbed by the work.

Construction of the extension is now well underway and the new elevation of the building will include replacement tiles, with bat access points created underneath.

ECOSA's work ensured that the project ran to schedule while satisfying planners and Natural England that the conservation status of bats has been maintained at the site.