The Bat Low Impact Class Licence permits the disturbance and capture of bats and/or damage/destruction of no more than three low conservation significance roosts affecting no more than three of the more common species of bats present in small numbers.
- “Low conservation significance roosts” are defined as feeding roosts, day, night and transitional/occasional roosts.
- “Common species” are defined as common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle, brown long-eared, whiskered, Brandt’s, Daubenton’s, Natterer’s.
- “Low numbers” are not specifically defined but standing advice from Natural England suggests that low numbers should not collectively exceed nine bats unless fully justifiable in a local context.
- A survey to inform whether a licence is required to permit the proposed activities and whether the species and circumstances fall within the remit of this licence.
- A walk over survey must have been undertaken within three months prior to the submission of the licence application to ensure that conditions have not changed since the most recent survey was undertaken.
- Meeting the three licensing tests.
- All consents necessary for the proposed activity must have been granted and all conditions or reserved matters relating to wildlife species and habitat issues must have been discharged and in place.
- Registration of the site and written confirmation from Natural England that works may proceed.
- Works may only take place in agreement with the landowner, who must also have agreed to comply with the terms and conditions of the licence.
- Submission of a report of licensed activities within four weeks of completion of licensable works, and submission of records to the relevant local records centre.
Natural England does not charge for the consideration of licence applications and issue of licences.
The implementation of the licence will involve the following actions, as required:
- A pre-works inspection undertaken by the named ecologist or registered consultant.
- A “tool box talk” before works commence by the registered consultant to all appointed contractors involved with the licensable works. The tool box talk will state that bats are present, the legislation relating to bats, measures that will be used to protect bats, good working practices, licensable activities and what to do should a bat be found. A written record that this has been undertaken, and when, will be kept by the registered consultant.
- The use of endoscopes, artificial light, destructive searches by soft demolition, temporary obstruction of roost access, temporary or permanent exclusion methods and use of static hand held nets by the named ecologist or registered consultant.
- The provision of an alternative roost in the event that bats are discovered.
- The arrangement for prompt assistance to deal with an injured bat.
There is no requirement to provide compensation under the terms and conditions of the low impact bat licence.
The determination period of a bat low impact class licence is 10 working days compared to the individual licence, “Bats: mitigation licence application form (A13a-1) for up to 3 species” which has a determination period of 30 working days.
The bat low impact licence has a streamlined application process dramatically reducing the extent to which survey information has to be documented, resulting in a significantly faster and therefore cheaper application facility for clients.