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Home » Living In » Planning » Planning Advice » Planning and Ecology » Bats - Trigger List

Trigger List

Copyright - Sian Williams, Kite EcologyBats – A European Protected Species

Trigger List

The following trigger list has been produced by the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) in conjunction with the Association of Local Government Ecologist (ALGE) and lists common development situations where bats are likely to be found.

However this list is not exhaustive and bats may be found in seemingly unlikely habitats. This list does focus survey efforts at those sites most likely to have bats though and so the decision to then undertake a bat survey can be based on reasonable likelihood.

If your development proposal is listed below it is likely to need a bat survey. Contact a licensed bat surveyor from the list of consultants or speak to the Planning Ecologist for further information.


 Trigger list of where bats are likely to be present and where developers can reasonably be expected to submit a bat survey. 

 (i) Proposed development which includes the modification, conversion, demolition or removal of buildings and structures (especially roof voids) involving the following:

  • All agricultural buildings (e.g. farmhouses and barns) particularly of traditional brick or stone construction and/or with exposed beams greater than 20cm thick;
  • All buildings with weather boarding and/or hanging tiles that are within 200m of woodland and/or water;
  • Pre-1960 detached buildings and structures within 200m of woodland and/or water;
  • Pre-1914 buildings within 400m of woodland and/or water;
  • Pre-1914 buildings with gable ends or slate roofs, regardless of location;
  • All tunnels, mines, kilns, ice-houses, adits, military fortifications, air raid shelters, cellars and similar underground ducts and structures;
  • All bridge structures, aqueducts and viaducts (especially over water and wet ground); and
  • All developments affecting buildings, structures, trees or other features where bats are known to be present.  

 (ii) Proposals involving lighting of churches and listed buildings or floodlighting of green spaces within 50m of woodland, water, field hedgerows or lines of trees with obvious connectivity to woodland or water.

 (iii) Proposals affecting quarries with cliff faces with crevices, caves or swallets. 

 (iv) Proposals affecting or within 400m of rivers, streams, canals, lakes, or within 200m of ponds and other aquatic habitats. 

 (v) Proposals affecting woodland or field hedgerows and/or lines of trees with obvious connectivity to woodland or water bodies. 

 (vi) Proposed tree work (felling or lopping) and/or development affecting:

  • Old and veteran trees that are older than 100 years;
  • Trees with obvious hole, cracks or cavities; and
  • Trees with a girth greater than 1m at chest height. 

 (vii) Proposed development affecting any feature or locations where bats are confirmed as being present, revealed by either a data trawl (for instance of the local biological records centre) or as notified to the developer by any competent authority (e.g. planning authority, Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation or other environmental or conservation organisation). 

Bat Conservation Trust (2007). Bat Surveys – Good Practice Guidelines.