A Bat Low Impact Class Licence (BLICL) is a type of bat mitigation licence that can be used on sites where the proposed works are anticipated to have a low impact on bats, but where the works still need to be licensed in order to meet legal requirements.
On eligible sites, it removes the requirement for a standard European Protected Species Licence (EPSL) /mitigation licence. It aims to streamline the licensing process and offers a more ‘proportional’ approach.
When does it apply?
There are very specific criteria that must be met in order to register a site under the BLICL, and this information must be obtained by undertaking adequate bat surveys in accordance with best practice guidelines (usually involving an internal/external visual inspection and associated summer time emergence/re-entry surveys).
Your ecologist will need to carefully assess whether your site is a ‘low conservation significance roost’ and meets the necessary criteria. In summary the criteria are as follows:
No more than three of the more ‘common’ bat species: common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle, brown long-eared, whiskered, Brandt’s, Daubenton’s and Natterer’s.
No more than three bat roosts in total
Only individual or small numbers of bats
Only certain types of roosts – feeding/night roosts, day roosts and transitional/occasional roosts.
Only ‘low impact’ or ‘temporary impact’ works.
If your project does not meet all of these criteria (e.g. if another bat species was present, or if there are more than three roosts) then you will need to apply for a standard EPSL/mitigation licence.
Only a Registered Consultant (RC) can apply to register the site under this licence.
At Acorn Ecology we have two Registered Consultants (Steph Attwood and Sarah Candlin) who can help move your projects forward under this licence.
Why it is beneficial to you?
The main benefit is that it is a huge time saver: you will be waiting a couple of weeks rather than several months. This can also reduce financial repercussions associated with delaying works.
The standard EPSL process involves your ecologist preparing detailed supporting documents, which then need to be submitted and thoroughly assessed by Natural England. As a minimum the Natural England assessment process takes 30 working days, however due to the backlog in applications this can sometimes be in excess of 60 working days!
In contrast, registering the site under the BLICL is a much simpler process and Natural England aim to respond within 10 working days. In our experience we usually receive a response within a couple of days!
To find out if your project can proceed under the BLICL please contact Acorn Ecology on 01392 366512 or email us at email@example.com