Protected Species Surveys Case Study


Protected Species Surveys

PEA & Bat Emergence/Re-entry Survey

AVRIO were appointed by a development company in Northern Ireland to undertake a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) and a Bat Emergence/Re-entry Survey as part of the planning application process for a proposed development site for residential dwellings.

The PEA aims to:

  • Determine the ecological value of the site by:
    • Identifying and assessing the habitats and floral communities;
    • Assessing the potential for the site to support protected/notable species; and
  • Assess the ecological impacts of the proposal and recommend appropriate mitigation and enhancement measures.

On completion of the PEA survey, it was concluded that the site was not located within a statutorily designated area and that it was dominated by species-poor habitats. Recommendations for the appointed contractor were included to ensure that all retained vegetation be protected during construction works. There is an existing building on site that is to be demolished as part of the planned construction works. The PEA identified suitable roosting locations within this building and assessed the building as being of moderate/high roosting potential for bats. Therefore, further survey works in the form of a bat emergence/re-entry survey was recommended prior to planning being approved, and construction works commencing.

The bat emergence/re-entry survey aims to establish if a roost is present within or immediately adjacent to the site. This survey was carried out in line with NIEA, Natural Heritage specific survey requirements and assessment criteria set out by the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT).

The survey identified a total of 4 no. Soprano pipistrelle bats and a single Daubenton’s bat. In order for construction works to be permitted, a license application and associated method statement were required to be submitted and approved by DAERA NI for the exclusion of bats from their roost and subsequent destruction of the roost. This license application has been submitted and subsequently approved by DAERA NI.

The assessment concluded that the proposed development, when undertaken sensitively and incorporating appropriate mitigation, would not have a detrimental impact on the species. The development has been approved by the relevant bodies, and construction works are to begin in due course. AVRIO have been appointed to provide the Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW) for the construction phase of this project and will monitor compliance with relevant mitigation measures to ensure no negative environmental impact arises.