Bat Surveys Of The Former County Library, Friars Terrace in Stafford, Staffordshire, West Midlands

Bat Survey Stafford

In 2014 Udall-Martin Associates Ltd. (specialist ecological consultancy) carried out bat surveys of the former County Library, Friars Terrace in Stafford, Staffordshire, West Midlands and subsequent residential re-development.

The proposed development site comprised a series of former county library buildings, with associated garages and bus depot buildings. The site is situated within an urban environment and is surrounded by residential land with small mature gardens.

A bat scoping survey was carried out in the optimal survey period for bats (i.e. May to August) and three bat dusk emergence surveys of the buildings were carried out in August and early September 2014.

The bat surveys revealed that common pipistrelle bats and brown long-eared bat were using features on the buildings to be affected by the proposed works as roosts. The roosts comprise of individual bats, i.e. lone male or female bats, possibly using the buildings on an occasional basis or over the entire active season. The buildings provide some potential habitat for a common pipistrelle bat maternity roost, where females gather to give birth and raise their young. This type of roost is of high conservation significance. The surveys were carried out in late August and September, therefore, outside the optimum time for identifying such a roost (i.e. June to August); therefore, it was assumed that this type of roost for common pipistrelle bats was present and the mitigation and compensation reflected this.

A bat report was produced detailing the results of the surveys, evaluation and mitigation and compensation measures, which was used to support the planning application for the proposed development. All species of British bat and their roosts are protected under British law by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), and bats are classified as European Protected Species under The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended). This makes it an offence to kill, injure or disturb a bat and to destroy any place used for rest or shelter by a bat. Under this legislation development work that could affect a bat or bat roost can only be permitted under a licence from Natural England.

As bat roosts were found in the building to be affected by the demolition works, and the roost areas will be destroyed, demolition works could only proceed under a EPS mitigation licence from Natural England in accordance with The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. We produced a detailed Method Statement to support the EPS licence application, providing details of the timing of works, safe working practices to minimise the chances of bats being present during the works and measures for the replacement of roosting habitat for bats in the long-term. Compensation habitat will involve installing bat roosting units within the fabric of the new buildings.

Work conducted for a Housing Association.

Udall-Martin Associates work throughout the UK and extensively in the West Midlands (Birmingham, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire), East Midlands (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Rutland), South West (Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset and Devon), South East (Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire) and throughout Wales

If you require ecological surveys including Extended Phase-1 habitat survey and protected species surveys please contact Udall-Martin Associates for advice and quotations (T: 01684 540695; M: 07968 030448; M: 07954 160468).