Stretton on Dunsmore homeowner and builder both charged after ripping down roof being used by bats

They completely ignored the law and decided to go ahead with building work - now they both face criminal charges

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 9:56 am
A pipistrelle bat resting on some bark. Photo: Getty Images.

A Stretton on Dunsmore homeowner and a builder they hired ignored a warning not to tear down a roof because it was being used by bats - resulting in their being reported to the police.

A spokesperson for Warwickshire Rural Crime Team explained that the homeowner submitted an application to convert an outbuilding into a dwelling.

But in late 2019 an ecological survey found that bats (believed to be pipistrelle bats) were using the outbuilding for rest and shelter.

All bat species, their breeding sites and resting places are protected by the law - but in early 2020, without consulting the proper authorities, a sizeable section of the roof was torn down.

The spokesperson for Warwickshire Rural Crime Team explained: "This would have had a drastic effect on the roost and potentially totally destroyed it."

Rugby Borough Council's planning department then reported the matter to Warwickshire Police.

The rural crime spokesperson added: "Further ecological surveys were requested and, once completed, it was established that since the habitat had been drastically changed no pipistrelles were seen.

"However, brown long eared bats were now using the building.

"Following an investigation by the Rural Crime Team the Crown Prosecution Service made a decision to charge both the homeowner and builder with damaging/destroying the bat roost."