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Dealing with bats

Of all the protected species that could influence your self-build project, bats are the most common. Mike Dade explains what to do if you encounter these creatures

Whatever kind of project you’re tackling – be it a conversion, refurb, extension or totally new home built from scratch – if there is a possibility of bats in or near your property, then you have to take account of them as part of your planning application. So, how do you deal with these creatures, and what are the implications for your project?

What the law says

Bats are protected by both UK and European legislation, under the Habitats Regulations and the Wildlife and Countryside Act. It’s not just an offence to capture or kill them, but also to disturb bats in their roost or to damage, destroy or block access to a roost.

If there’s a possibility of these creatures being present at your property, then you’ll need to have a dedicated bat survey done before you make a planning application. If they do have to be disturbed or relocated, then this must be done by a specialist with a bat licence. Breaches of the law can result in stiff fines or even imprisonment, so this isn’t a matter to be taken lightly.

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About Build It

The November edition of Build It magazine brings you all the inspiration & practical advice you need to complete your home building project on time and on budget, including: • A self-built first home for just £47,000 (page 48) • Why build with oak? (page 64) • Rainwater goods: repair or replace? (page 67) • 5 renovation tips for a healthy home (page 81) • Is open plan living right for you (page 103) • Expert guide to lighting and electrics (page 112) … and more!