A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal was carried out, which identified the need for further survey work for great crested newts (GCN), bats, badgers, otters and invasive species.
Evidence of roosting bats was found within the building with a large number of bat droppings. Dusk and dawn bat activity surveys were carried out during the summer months. Hibernation checks were also carried out during the winter months. The surveys found that the building was a confirmed bat roost for soprano pipistrelle, lesser horseshoe and greater horseshoe bats.
A European Protected Species Licence was needed from Natural England to undertake the demolition works. This was applied for by Acorn Ecology on behalf of the client. Acorn Ecology oversaw key stages of the demolition including the removal of the roof, which was done by hand.
In order to compensate for the loss of the bat roosts, replacement structures were built. This comprised a standalone dedicated bat building, as well as a sub-floor void within the new building which replicates the basement which was used by greater horseshoe bats for hibernating. Acorn Ecology provided advice on the design of these structures to ensure that they were suitable for the bat species present on site, and that they also fitted in with the design of the new development.