Protected species and historic buildings

Historic buildings can often be a home to wildlife such as bats, barn owls and other nesting birds. Bats in particular like older buildings and there are often no obvious signs to the owner that bats are present.

All species of bat in the UK are protected in law and they are an important consideration in determining planning applications.

When making an application for planning permission or listed building consent it is often necessary to submit an assessment carried out by a competent ecologist to show if bats are likely to be present in the building(s) and if so how they would be affected by the proposals. This may lead to the requirement of more detailed surveys and mitigation strategies if bats are found.

Applicants should be aware of this before they submit their application. If protected species are not considered at the early stages, proposals may need to be reviewed which will normally result in delays. The later this is done, the more significant or difficult that delay could be.

Building owners should also be aware of this issue when carrying out works to their buildings which do not require permission, such as minor repairs in roof spaces. Complying with the relevant law protecting species, including obtaining and complying with the terms and conditions or any licences required, is compulsory even where planning permission is not required.

For further information on this topic please take a look at the guidance note provided below and related links on the right of this page or contact one of the Biodiversity team by phoning 01256 844844.

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