Bat Conservation conditions gaining momentum
A year since the publication of the Bat Conservation Trust’s (BCT) Good Practice Guidelines 2nd edition, it is evident that Local Authorities (LAs) are specifying a more and more active approach to ecology considerations, and bats in particular.
For example, the London Borough of Camden offers strict guidance on the different types of bat boxes to be used, even for the smallest of sites. Their guidance also requires ecological features to be built into the fabric of the development rather than being hung on walls or trees as an afterthought. This need not take away from the practicality or architectural vision of a project as new bat box designs can be advised upon to fit unobtrusively into any development.
With the stricter BCT guidelines and further new guidance on bats with respect to Landscape and Urban Design it is important to consider bats and other ecological issues if the goal is planning permission. Even if bats were to be scoped out, biodiversity design in the landscaping and the inclusion of biodiversity features in the fabric of the scheme are still likely to be required. One obvious pitfalls to avoid is poor advice from consultants without ecology expertise who often recommend bat surveys in the most unlikely of circumstances due to a strict adherence to the BCT Guidance. An ecology specialist will be able to interpret BCT guidance and help you to avoid unnecessary survey costs and delays.
We believe that bat enhancement and management plans, tailored to suit the architectural and landscaping features of a scheme, will feature more within LA planning conditions in the very near future. If you would like to discuss the likely ecology and bat conservation implications in relation to any of your schemes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on: 0203 544 3995.