Costly delays avoided by re-locating roosting bats in Coventry's largest multi-storey buildings

Wharton Tree & Ecology Consultants were commissioned at the early stages of the project, to undertake preliminary roosting bats and nesting birds assessment of two large multi-storey buildings in Coventry to be demolished.

Date Completed: 01/10/2017

COVENTRY UNIVERSITY; TURNBERRY; BDP

Demolition of two large multi-storey buildings could have been delayed due to the presence of roosting bats; but early consideration of ecological constraints by the developer and diligent survey work by Wharton Tree & Ecology Consultants allowed the project to go ahead without any significant delays.

This project highlights what can be achieved when potential ecological constraints are considered from the outset!

 

PROJECT DETAILS

Wharton Tree & Ecology Consultants were commissioned by Turnberry on behalf of Coventry University to work as part of the planning and design team for both trees & ecology.

In respect of ecology, we were appointed in the early stages of the project to undertake an assessment of the buildings for their potential to support roosting bats and birds.

Our senior ecologist Matt Wall found no evidence of roosting bats, but deemed the buildings to have low and moderate suitability due to the presence of a number of potential roosting sites for bats.

PROJECT DELIVERABLES

From the preliminary roost assessment further surveys were recommended to determine the presence or likely absence of bats from the buildings. Low numbers of common pipistrelle were observed within both buildings on the first survey; confirming both buildings as bat roosts. Subsequent surveys found that both buildings were being used regularly by low numbers of common pipistrelle roosting behind large concrete wall panels.

Wharton Tree & Ecology Consultants  communicated the constraint of roosting bats to the client after the first survey, and provided a detailed description of the implications and options in terms of timescales, planning and licence requirements to allow these to be factored in to the project schedule.

Details of mitigation measures were submitted with the planning application and planning permission was granted. This then enabled a Bat Low Impact Class Licence (BLICL) to be submitted to and approved by Natural England within a few days, allowing works to progress smoothly and without unexpected delays.

Bat roost exclusion works progressed after replacement roosts were fitted to the exterior of a retained portion of the building. Bats were seen trying to re-enter the building at sunrise following installation of exclusion measures, however no bats managed to get back in to either building.

PROJECT SUCCESS

  • Planning permission achieved on first application, with specific planning conditions as recommended within our reports
  • The consideration of tree and ecological constraints from the outset ensured planning success
  • Our focus on collaborative working with the city council officers, architects, design team and engineers, ensured integration and clarity of constraints within the design team
  • A commitment by the client to implement the proposals correctly
  • Low impact bat licence approved
  • Bat roosts excluded successfully and replacement roosts installed
  • Demolition works now underway

PROJECT TEAM

Matt Wall – Senior Ecology
Sam Hobson – Arboricultural Consultant