The Bat Mitigation Class Licence (BMCL) (formerly known as the Bat Low Impact Class Licence) can be used all year round by the Registered Consultant (RC) and requires the RC to register the site concerned.
A decision on whether to accept the registration of the site will be made by Natural England within 10 workings days.
A site has to be registered a minimum of 3 weeks and no more than 12 weeks prior to undertaking any licensable works.
Licences will be granted for the period of the licensable works – usually this is 2-3 months and never more than about 6 months.
Where it can be used:
It can be used where there will be impacts to “no more than 3 of the more common species of bats present in small numbers”.
The licence is now divided in to four Annexes. Annexe A covers common and soprano pipistrelle and brown-long-eared bat in named northern counties of England. Annexe B covers common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle, brown long-eared, Daubenton’s, Natterer’s, Whiskered and Brandt’s bats in all counties of England. Annexe C covers serotine bat in specific southern counties of England and Annexe D covers lesser horseshoe bat in names south-western counties of England.
Roost types covered are: Feeding, Night, Day and Transitional roosts.
CSA Ecology Director Aidan Marsh is a Registered Consultant (under Annexe B of BMCL) – Contact Aidan (01386 751100) for advice on your site.
Where it can’t be used:
Swarming/mating, maternity, hibernation, satellite, roosts in SAC/SSSIs and various multifunctional roosts and multi-species roost (>3 roosts) are NOT covered.
BMCL will not be suitable for most multi-phase developments.
Trees are not covered by BMCL.
Things to remember:
Site survey work must follow BCT survey guidelines and must be up to date; it must be from the “current or most recent optimal season”. Optimal season is defined as May-August.
As with a standard EPS licence, appropriate consents must be in place for the works affecting bats and any related planning conditions will need to have been discharged.
As these are low impact situations, there is no expectation for compensation to be provided. However, one feature/box for each species/roost affected would be considered appropriate.
There is no provision for monitoring with BMCL.
The licence is in the name of the RC, not the developer, so the RC is responsible for ensuring things are carried out correctly and must report any problems. Enforcement will come in the form of regular compliance checks.
A licence return must be sent with 4 weeks of the licence ending and all records must be submitted to the Local Records Centre.