Bats have always been a bit of a taboo in the building industry, you mention bats and the builder goes "shhh" It's been thought for a long time if bats are found on a project that everything stops (I've no idea what happens if they are). In twenty years and 250 or more lofts later the only bats I've ever seen were in a cave once in Wales.
But the mention of bats all of a sudden seems to be like buses nothing! and two come at once. Both the jobs because we were needed to raise the roof to form a loft conversion. Now! On the Swanage loft conversion it was not even concidered until the application got submitted and I got a email back saying "we can not process the job until a bat inspection has been carried out".
I thought "here we go" more red tape to make an already complicated job more complicated. I sent the email to my client and before it had even been read I was on the phone to Swanage council. They were very helpful (for a change) and after a quick look on their external link page I contacted a bat survey team. They told me they needed to have a look in the loft and look for signs, this was going to cost £175 + vat.
I'd already been told it should only cost £100 so I rung another company www.ecological-services.co.uk Where I spoke to Lindsey Carrington. She was unbelievably helpful and without any fuss said she could do it straight away. But never did I think that afternoon. My client replied to the email and before I knew it Lindsey sent Rebecca one of the girls around to Swanage and 30 mins later the inspection was complete.
By the end of the day they had emailed myself, client and council with their findings and the council had processed the loft conversion planning application. The inspection only cost £100 too. The other case is still on going in Cumbria as we have not submitted the planning application yet but if it goes as well as the Swanage service we received then I'll be happy .
21 February, 2014