Company fined for demolition of a building containing a bat roost

January 29, 2024

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

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.

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.

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.

In court, Mr. Davey argued that a breakdown in communication between the company and their subcontractor 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.

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.

“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.”

This is valid as of 29th January 2024.

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