Do you need a Bat Survey for a planning application in London in 2021?
Bat Survey London: London is densely populated and despite the pandemic of the last year or so, with the resulting increase in home working, there’s no signs of the growth of the capital slowing down in either economic prosperity, home and property values, and population. For example, the population of London is only 12.5% of the UK as a whole, but the city generates almost a quarter of total GDP.
Likewise, in 2020 the average price of a home in the capital rose above the £600,000 mark for the first time in history. Finally, the present population of greater London is over 9 million people. By 2050 that is predicted to grow by another 2 million.
What this means, is that what is already a hive of development activity is likely to get even busier. Pressure will mount on the 32 boroughs of London to consent to more and more development, and as high streets feel the double hammer of the lockdown and a mass move to online shopping, perhaps our town and city centres will become even more densely populated as large stores and offices that used to be able to command enormous rents slowly, one by one, get converted into dwellings for the extra 70,000 people annually that will come to call London their home.
Clearly, there is a trade off with biodiversity anytime outside spaces (natural habitats) and existing, imperfect structures (with architectural defects and features that provide for suitable bat roosting habitat) are sacrificed for re development. In short, all of this new construction, conversion and renovation activity risks a loss of bat roosting habitat on a wholesale scale.