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Natural England ‘Low Impact Licence’ for The Bull Pen, Eaton Bishop, Herefordshire

Natural England ‘Low Impact Licence’ for The Bull Pen, Eaton Bishop, Herefordshire

The project Development for a change of use from agricultural to residential use with the conversion of a large, redundant ‘Bull Pen’ building into unrestricted residential accommodation.

Our involvement A bat roost and barn owl assessment for submission with the planning application to covert a large agricultural building that housed bull pens for Hereford Cattle. Common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle and brown long-eared bat roosts were recorded in the roof of the property. The roosts were assessed as providing shelter for low numbers of animals on an occasional basis through summer. The roosts were evaluated as being of low conservation importance, but conversion of the building would involve licensable activities for bats when the roof was repaired.

In 2015 Natural England launched a new class licence, which provides a streamlined process to the European Protected Species (EPS) mitigation licence. The ‘low impact class licence’ permits work that has a low impact on certain common/ widespread bat species and roost types, but which still needed to be licensed in order to meet the legal requirements of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. We were able to register the site with Natural England and implement the low impact licence.

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