Developer pleads guilty to knowingly demolishing protected bat roost

A major housebuilder has pleaded guilty to knowingly allowing the roost of a protected bat species to be destroyed as part of redevelopment plans for a site in London.

Bellway Homes pleaded guilty to the crime at Bromley Magistrates' Court last week.

The court heard that the developer had commissioned a bat survey for the redevelopment of a Woolwich property in south London in 2017. The survey showed the presence of a soprano pipistrelle bat – a European protected species –  returning to a gap between a window and lintel at the property.

Under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, it is an offence to damage or destroy a breeding site or resting place of a protected species. 

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