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Demolition of old mill buildings in Tunstall near Stoke on trent
United Environmental Services were commissioned to carry out bat surveys on a series of old mill buildings in Tunstall near stoke on Trent. The buildings on the site were to be demolished prior to the construction of a care home for the elderly. The local planning authority made the developers aware that bat surveys were required to ensure that no bats would be affected by the demolition.
The buildings were in a dangerous state of disrepair and the upper floors could not be safely accessed to check for roosting bats. The buildings had no glass in the window frames and there were signs of people living rough, drug use, and large scale vandalism. The buildings and the site in general were regularly used by groups of children as a play area. Clearly it was in the public interest for the buildings to be demolished.
UES carried out a full set of emergence surveys with observers placed around the site covering all angles. Bat activity was recorded on the emergence survey with pipistrelle bats using the edge of buildings and the site area in general to forage and also moving into the buildings through the open window frames.
Bat return roost surveys were also carried out and pipistrelle bats were recorded going into one of the buildings to roost.
Our clients were informed of the presence of the bat roost on site, and that the demolition would have to be done under a European protected species licence issued by Natural England.
The local planning authority and Natural England were consulted and a licence application drawn up. The developer also commissioned a structural survey of the buildings to demonstrate to Natural England their dangerous state of disrepair.
A mitigation strategy was drawn up which involved placing bat boxes around the site area for the duration of the build. UES also advised the architects of the new buildings on the appropriate type, position and number of bat boxes which should be built into the new structure.
Natural England issued the European protected species licence and the buildings were demolished.
UES are currently monitoring the on site bat boxes.