Birch Tree Farm, Merseyside
Old barns and farm buildings are often valuable for bats, which are afforded full legal protection, and this can represent a challenge for developers. However bat presence is rarely a barrier to development and with the right approach can be addressed with minimal effect on the overall project and programme. Avian Ecology has suitably licensed and experienced personnel who can ensure the issue is addressed efficiently without compromising building design, end use, or bat conservation. This proposal involved the re-development of outbuildings to create new dwellings within a farm complex. Baseline surveys were required to inform the planning application and satisfy the Local Authority that legal and planning policy obligations had been duly considered and fully addressed. Avian Ecology’s surveys confirmed roosting bats were present within several buildings. Our experienced bat specialists worked with the project team and the Local Authority to incorporate new bat roost features within in the new development, as well as lighting design in order to maintain dark corridors for commuting and foraging bats around the site. The LPA and its ecological advisors were satisfied with this approach and planning permission was granted without compromise to the re-development design or losses for biodiversity. The Avian team subsequently assisted with the post-planning permission licence from Natural England, allowing the works to proceed positive or negative. With this approach our clients can be confident that they are benefitting from the most current and emerging advice, tailored to their specific projects.