Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting EJ NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
‘There are bats in this building’
5:00pm Monday 9th July 2012 in News
AN Evesham resident has called on Wychavon District Council to rethink plans to demolish the last remaining part of the former Swan Lane School building to save the local bat population.
Despite a report carried out in June last year by CSa Environmental Planning stating there was no evidence of bat roosting, Adrian Townley said his neighbour often watched bats flying in and out of the building on Chapel Street.
Mr Townley, of Cotswold View in Evesham, said: “There are bats in the building. Since they knocked the other building down the bat population has dropped.
“I am gobsmacked they can do this. The number of bats has just tumbled since the last place was knocked down but they are still there. What building are they going in if they are not in this one?”
The proposed demolition of the old school building, which in recent years has been used as a Registrars Office, comes five years after the rest of the school was knocked down and turned into a car park.
But Wychavon stands by the report and welcomed Mr Townley to contact them directly.
Jim Burgin, heritage manager at Wychavon, said: “Bats tend to be most active during the summer months, which is why we commissioned the survey in June. The survey report was very comprehensive and clearly showed the building had no evidence of bat activity.
“Protection of bats is important to us and bats are protected by law. We are confident the results of this survey are still valid, but if any bat activity is spotted during the demolition, work will be halted.”
Wychavon councillors voted to demolish the historic building at a recent meeting, despite opposition from residents and the Evesham Civic Society.
The original building was mostly demolished in 2007 to make way for a car park; plans which also attracted criticism when it was largely underused.