21st Oct, 2017

Call to save homes site bat barns

Leamington Editorial 5th Mar, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

CONCERNED residents in Leamington say bats living in barns will be destroyed when the buildings are demolished.

Warwick District Council has granted planning permission for 12 buildings at Lower Heathcote Farm on Harbury Lane to be knocked down as part of plans to make way for 785 homes in the area.

But residents say there are up to three different breeds of bat living on the farm and no provision has been made to relocate or protect them.

Local resident Derrick Knight said: “Buildings once demolished can be replaced but the bat roosts will be gone forever.

“If the buildings the bats live in are demolished then the developers will be fined and legal action taken, which is peanuts to a big company. Can’t the buildings the bats live in be preserved and the new homes still built?”

Four buildings on the site – which includes a house, barn, chicken coop, garage and workshop – have been highlighted by surveyors as having high likelihood of bats roosting there. But all of the buildings are set to be demolished over the next four months.

Warwick District Council say the bats will be protected before the buildings are demolished.

Council development manager Gary Fisher said: “The grant of planning permission for this site included safeguards to ensure the protection of any bats that are found in the existing buildings at this site.

“No demolition has taken place yet and district council officers are satisfied that all appropriate measures are in place including ongoing survey works, which have been and are planned to be undertaken prior to the demolition of buildings.”

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