Redevelopment site and bat EPSL, Bath

Redevelopment site and bat EPSL, Bath2018-10-12T11:54:17+00:00

Project Description

Summary

The site comprised a derelict restaurant and associated landscaping.

A brook runs though the site and is surrounded by trees, providing a wildlife corridor. Ecological survey work identified bat roosts in the restaurant used by various species including the rare greater horseshoe bat. In order to demolish the building, a European Protected Species Licence was required and replacement roosting structures were created on site.

Our Client

Innovation Property Solutions (UK) Limited

Proposed Development

The proposed development was for the demolition of the existing restaurant building and the construction of a retirement development.

Before

Acorn Ecology case study Bath

Mitigation

Monitoring

Acorn Ecology case study Bath

Scope of Ecological Works

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.

Outcome

Demolition of the building was undertaken in autumn and early winter 2015, reducing the likelihood of disturbing roosting bats. The dedicated bat building has been constructed away from any new lighting, near to the brook on site. The sub-floor void has been included within the new building in the same location as the previous restaurant basement. Bat boxes have been mounted on trees within the site to enhance the site for bats.

A recent check of the dedicated bat building found bat droppings inside the building, confirming that bats are already using it for roosting less than two years after completion.

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