Bat licences for development, infrastructure or maintenance work

If you are carrying out development, infrastructure, or maintenance work, you will need a species development licence for work affecting bats or their resting places.

What to include in your application

Your application will need to include:

  • Your application form
  • our method statement template for bats
  • a location map or GIS layer (ideally 1:10.000 scale) showing the area where the problem is occurring 
  • detailed plans and drawings of existing sites and proposed works
  • a species survey report
  • evidence to support the purpose of the work
  • copies of any permissions or consents associated with the application
  • any relevant correspondence if the work falls within or near a designated site
  • a Habitat Regulations Assessment, if applicable

If planning permission or other planning consents are required, or have been granted, you will need to ask your local planning authority to complete the local planning authority consultation form

Bat survey and mitigation

You will need to employ and ecologist to carry out a bat survey for you.

A survey will help you find out if bats will be affected by the proposed works. It should show which species will be affected and if any impacts can be reduced or avoided.

A survey consists of an initial daytime survey to look at the site. This is then followed up by activity surveys to look for bats emerging from buildings or trees at dusk. The initial daytime survey, also known as a preliminary assessment, can be undertaken at any time of year, however emergence surveys must be carried out during the bats’ active season, May to September.

You should allow time for the survey to take place when planning your project. The ecologist should carry out the survey following the latest best practice guidance.

The bat survey report

The survey report should provide the information that the planning authority needs to determine the planning application. It will also help us to decide if a licence is needed and can be granted.

The report should include:

  • who carried out the survey
  • when the survey work was carried out
  • a methodology detailing how the survey work was carried out
  • detailed results and conclusions from the survey
  • if any further survey work is recommended
  • an assessment of the impacts
  • details of recommendations to avoid, reduce and mitigate the impacts
  • recommendations of when and how the building work should be undertaken
  • any monitoring that should be done after completion of the work

The report forms the basis for the method statement that needs to be submitted as part of the licence application.

You can find more detailed information in what to expect from a bat survey: A Guide for UK Homeowners.

Who can apply for a licence

Find out who can apply for a protected species licence

Reference form

If you have not held a relevant licence from us before, your application must include a reference form.

Referees must be:

  • able to comment on their experience of working with the relevant species
  • their ability to use the methods and equipment proposed within your licence application
  • qualified themselves and must have held a relevant licence before
  • must have experience of your work for at least one survey season

We can only accept one reference from the company you currently work for. We may contact your referees to verify their statements.

Report your actions under a licence

You must complete the development licence report form four weeks after the licence is due to expire.

You may be asked to submit an ecological compliance audit form if you're proposing a large development scheme, or a scheme that has a higher risk for protected species. These requirements will be a condition of your licence.

An appropriate monitoring scheme may also be a condition and results must be submitted using the licence monitoring report form.

Amend your licence

You can ask for amendments to your licence using the relevant forms.

Amendment request form
Change of licensee
Change of ecologist form

Contact us

You can contact us for help at any time before or during your licence application.

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