All bats and their roosts are protected by national and European legislation. Additionally, Local Planning Authorities have a legal responsibility to ensure that biodiversity (which includes bats) is considered in the planning process. This means that where relevant, they can ask for a bat survey to be carried out (by an ecological consultant) and a report to be provided as part of the planning application.
If it can be shown that a bat roost will be impacted, then a licence may be required for the work and mitigation and/or compensation measures put in place (such as timings of works, retaining roosts or providing alternative like for like roost sites).
If you are concerned that bats or their roosts are going to be impacted by development you should contact your local planning authority and make them aware of the presence of bats.
It is however worth noting that although bats and their roosts are protected, their foraging areas do not have the same level of protection. Any requirement for a survey and subsequent recommendations will depend on exactly how bats might be impacted by the works.
As a small voluntary group with limited resources Essex Bat Group is unable to get involved with individual cases. We are therefore very grateful to members of the public for their help in making sure local planning authorities are aware of bats and bat roosts that could be affected by development.
Further information about the planning process can be found here: BCT information page on bats and planning
Further information about reporting a bat crime can be found here: Reporting a bat crime