Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Company fined for demolition of building containing a bat roost

18 Jan 2024 3 minute read
Common Pipistrelle. Photo by john.purvis, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

A building design and construction company has been fined £2,605 for demolishing a building in which protected Pipistrelle bats were known to be roosting.

Mr Christopher Davey, the director of Your Space Projects Limited, pleaded guilty to breaching the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended) at Newport Magistrates Court on 9 January.

Full ecological surveys completed by an independent ecologist employed by Mr Davey, showed that a bat roost was present at The Ferns, a former social club on Liswerry Road.

Protected

Pipistrelles bats are a priority species in the UK and Europe and are protected by both UK and European Wildlife law.

The presence of the bats meant that the building could not be demolished without a European Protected Species License and appropriate mitigation in place.

Image: NRW

In court, Mr Davey argued that a breakdown in communication between the company and their sub-contractor had resulted in the demolition taking place too early. Unfortunately, this prevented discussions and ecological assistance being  put in place which would have protected any bats still in situ.

Judge Toms stated that the negligent failure of the company resulted in the loss of a day roost, and she ordered that the company pay fines and costs totalling £2,605.00.

Impacts on species locally

PC Mark Powell on secondment with Natural Resources Wales Industry Regulation team said: “Officers from Natural Resources Wales are successfully working with police forces across Wales, and the National Wildlife Crime Unit to investigate and prosecute those responsible for committing wildlife and rural crime offences.

“This demolition of a confirmed bat roost without ecological onsite support, and without the European Protected Species Licence, will have impacted the species in the local area. Legislation is in place and is designed to protect our already dwindling protected native species.

“The conservation of bats, and other protected species, must be ensured if future generations are to benefit from their continued existence. Bats are a very important indicator species that face ever increasing challenges.”

Prosecution

“We hope this prosecution will serve as a reminder to developers, and anyone carrying out work to buildings that are home to bats, that they must follow the appropriate guidelines and ensure that any construction work is carefully completed within the law.

“Multi agency cooperation has never been better and together we will investigate and prosecute offenders. I would like to thank the National Wildlife Crime Unit for their investigative advice and support, the Species Team at Natural Resources Wales and also the Bat Conservation Trust who carry out excellent work which helps to protect the species “


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
5 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Catherine
Catherine
4 months ago

The only thing I would say is that the fine needs to be higher and that there needs to be a more punitive address of the defendant than mere monetary discomfort, which would likely only be of minor issue to the defendant unless the fine became satirically or justly, depending on your own views, large… …It is also worth pointing out that all of the money in the world cannot bring us back that habitat or the bats that used it. Perhaps part of the punishment should be that the thoughtless (or possibly lying) scum that committed this atrocious disrespect… Read more »

Richard 1
Richard 1
4 months ago
Reply to  Catherine

Spot on, Catherine. Perhaps we should identify the culprits’ habitat and demolish that.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
4 months ago
Reply to  Catherine

I agree with every word, 100%.

I would like to see (long) prison sentences imposed on the culprits.

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
4 months ago

Da iawn. Ond eto, does neb yn cael eu dirwyo am ddinistio cymunedau Cymraeg, sy’n brinach o beth wmbreth mi dybiwn i na’r ystlumod hyn. Rhyw 40 ar ôl bellach gyda mwy na 70% yn siarad yr iaith. Ond wedyn, byddai angen i Lywodraeth Cymru ddirwyo ei hun …

Richard 1
Richard 1
4 months ago

I told a contact about this – a professional ecologist and licensed bat handler who said (fulminated) “£2600 is a ludicrously small fine. Legislation allows for unlimited fines, commonly £5k per animal, plus seizure of any equipment used in the act, confiscation of profits from the crime and possible imprisonment for up to 6 months. The contractors could also be prosecuted. So the total of £2600 is pathetic.” Apparently there isn’t a lot of case law for this stuff yet. So if this is a precedent-setting event the future just took a bad turn for the bats and everyone who… Read more »

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.