Today I completed a bat scoping survey of a house in Firswood Manchester M16. The owners have a young family, and are applying for planning permission to extend the house including a loft conversion. No further surveys are required, as no indications of use by bats were found, and the building is set in poor quality habitat for bats. The report will enable the planning application to progress at Trafford Council.

What is a bat scoping survey

A bat scoping survey consists of a detailed internal and external inspection of the buildings affected. All features which have the potential to be used by roosting bats were, inspected in detail, recorded, and photographed. A video endoscope was used to look deep into the small spaces which can be used by roosting bats. Areas which are typically used by roosting bats include;

  • Roof spaces and cellars
  • Wall cavities
  • Beneath lead flashing
  • Cracks in brickwork
  • Between tiles and roof felt
  • Gaps and cracks in structural timbers
  • Gaps around window & door frames, sills & lintels

Buildings which are surrounded by, or close to, good habitat, are more likely to be used by roosting bats. Bats feed on insects in flight, often above Hedgerows, trees, ponds, rivers, and gardens.

The house surveyed today, is set in an area of low quality habitat for bats. The building has no features which are likely to be used by roosting bats. No droppings or feeding remains were present during the inspection and the building is unlikely to support roosting bats.

Survey outcome

The owners want to convert the loft and extend the house to accommodate their family. Planning permission is needed before work can start. Bats and their roosts, which are legally protected, are a material consideration of planning, and so the local planning authority needs all surveys to be completed before they can make a planning decision.

As no indications of bats were found during the inspection, as the building has no features which are likely to be used by roosting bats, and as the building is set in low quality habitat for bats, no more surveys are required.

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