Demolition of former HQ in Bingley is at risk as bats protection process may take longer than expected

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The derelict Bradford & Bingley headquarters in Bingley The derelict Bradford & Bingley headquarters in Bingley

Hibernating bats already delaying demolition of the derelict Bradford & Bingley headquarters may prolong the process even more than first feared, it has emerged.

Because owners Sainsbury’s are aware of the protected mammals in the building, they must now wait until they wake up in Spring and then carry out full surveys of the Bingley office block’s nocturnal guests.

Shipley MP Philip Davies told last week how he was “bitterly disappointed” at any delay in knocking it down – which was scheduled for January.

And staff at his parliamentary office have now discovered further issues.

“After the hibernation period Sainsbury’s needs to commission a new survey and if that finds the bats are still there, they will need to obtain European Protected Species Mitigation Licence from English Nature,” a spokesman for Mr Davies’ office said.

And it could be that three additional surveys might need to be done with gaps of two weeks between each,” she said.

“This will bring it to the summer cycle when bats form maternity colonies which could mean that the demolition will not be possible or can be significantly delayed,” the spokesman added.

A Sainsbury’s spokesman confirmed that new surveys would have to take place and they would be working with Bradford Council’s ecology department to detail the number of inhabitants.

Bradford bat expert Ian Butterfield said hibernating bats had to be taken seriously as they are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

“This is not some weirdo EU legislation, it’s laws we have produced ourselves because bats are very endangered – we’re talking about extinction,” Mr Butterfield said.

“These in the Bradford & Bingley building are most certainly Common Pipistrelles, which are the size of the end of your thumb and could fit into a matchbox,” said Mr Butterfield, who leads bat walks around St Ives Estate and Denso Marston nature reserve.

“They like 1970s buildings which have plenty of crevices and holes to tuck away in,” said Mr Butterfield, a member of the West Yorkshire Bat Group.

And he agreed Sainsbury’s might only have a brief time to demolish the controversial building – due to the breeding schedule of bats.

“The female bats are already pregnant as they feed heavily in Autumn, then mate in October before hibernating.They emerge in April, then the females go into ‘maternity roost” in June, so there is only that window of opportunity,” Mr Butterfield explained.

Comments (13)

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6:23am Thu 6 Feb 14

allannicho says...

Batty!
Batty! allannicho
  • Score: 0

8:13am Thu 6 Feb 14

Joedavid says...

allannicho wrote:
Batty!
Had to look at calendar to see if it is April 1st.
[quote][p][bold]allannicho[/bold] wrote: Batty![/p][/quote]Had to look at calendar to see if it is April 1st. Joedavid
  • Score: 1

8:14am Thu 6 Feb 14

Joedavid says...

allannicho wrote:
Batty!
Had to look at calendar to see if it is April 1st.
[quote][p][bold]allannicho[/bold] wrote: Batty![/p][/quote]Had to look at calendar to see if it is April 1st. Joedavid
  • Score: -2

9:05am Thu 6 Feb 14

dazbot says...

How handy is that for Sainsbury's. i wonder what will crop up in April.
How handy is that for Sainsbury's. i wonder what will crop up in April. dazbot
  • Score: 1

10:40am Thu 6 Feb 14

Thackleygirl says...

Why don't Bradford Council do something useful and put up 'bat boxes' in the surrounding area for them to roost in. Obviously this is a clear indicator that we are removing their habitat and they have no where to go (and be safe) so come on Bradford Council set an example...
Why don't Bradford Council do something useful and put up 'bat boxes' in the surrounding area for them to roost in. Obviously this is a clear indicator that we are removing their habitat and they have no where to go (and be safe) so come on Bradford Council set an example... Thackleygirl
  • Score: 6

11:27am Thu 6 Feb 14

Albion. says...

dazbot wrote:
How handy is that for Sainsbury's. i wonder what will crop up in April.
What do you mean?
[quote][p][bold]dazbot[/bold] wrote: How handy is that for Sainsbury's. i wonder what will crop up in April.[/p][/quote]What do you mean? Albion.
  • Score: -2

11:47am Thu 6 Feb 14

Thackleygirl says...

Wasn't it a few years ago when work had to be suspended on the bridge in Bingley due to bats roosting there?? By British Law, bats are protected (rightly so) and this just goes to show that they are in the area. We should be extremely proud of this and do something to help them - come on Bradford Council ....
Wasn't it a few years ago when work had to be suspended on the bridge in Bingley due to bats roosting there?? By British Law, bats are protected (rightly so) and this just goes to show that they are in the area. We should be extremely proud of this and do something to help them - come on Bradford Council .... Thackleygirl
  • Score: 8

5:46pm Thu 6 Feb 14

awasteoftime says...

This just goes to show that this Country has totally lost the plot !. Not long ago the Govt was going out to execute badgers and now development is being held back because of some common bats. The solution should be simply, place the bats into some bat boxes and take them all to the empty barns on the St Ives Estate where they will be in good habitat. It is not rocket science and can be solved within a week. The Council will be holding back development for families of rates next. Is that why the Council is happier to see development on Green Fields rather that old brown field site around the district. What are our Local Councillors doing come on get moving and sort it out.
This just goes to show that this Country has totally lost the plot !. Not long ago the Govt was going out to execute badgers and now development is being held back because of some common bats. The solution should be simply, place the bats into some bat boxes and take them all to the empty barns on the St Ives Estate where they will be in good habitat. It is not rocket science and can be solved within a week. The Council will be holding back development for families of rates next. Is that why the Council is happier to see development on Green Fields rather that old brown field site around the district. What are our Local Councillors doing come on get moving and sort it out. awasteoftime
  • Score: 0

7:48pm Thu 6 Feb 14

cockadoodledo says...

This so disappointing news for bingley, everything on hold for bats for goodness sake! Surely if demolition begins April the mere sound of machinery will move the bats on.perhaps the batsman can arrange bat box's for the park? Demolition should not be delayed after April! Put the councillors on the case with the Philip Davies but don't hold your breath. Should there be no favourable result then no votes!!! Elections are soon.
This so disappointing news for bingley, everything on hold for bats for goodness sake! Surely if demolition begins April the mere sound of machinery will move the bats on.perhaps the batsman can arrange bat box's for the park? Demolition should not be delayed after April! Put the councillors on the case with the Philip Davies but don't hold your breath. Should there be no favourable result then no votes!!! Elections are soon. cockadoodledo
  • Score: -2

8:03pm Thu 6 Feb 14

alive and awake says...

Bats eh! just pull the bladdy thng down.
Bats eh! just pull the bladdy thng down. alive and awake
  • Score: -1

8:31pm Thu 6 Feb 14

ecotracy says...

The fact that there were bat roosts in Briggate, Shipley last year (2013) did not stop the roost from being destroyed by Bradford Council and the cycle charity, Sustrans......
The fact that there were bat roosts in Briggate, Shipley last year (2013) did not stop the roost from being destroyed by Bradford Council and the cycle charity, Sustrans...... ecotracy
  • Score: -2

9:06pm Thu 6 Feb 14

wobbley-bob says...

Didn't the renovation of Ireland Bridge in Bingley, some years ago, take longer than expected because of bats?

Maybe they're the 'Swampy Eco-warrior' equivalent of the bat world.
Didn't the renovation of Ireland Bridge in Bingley, some years ago, take longer than expected because of bats? Maybe they're the 'Swampy Eco-warrior' equivalent of the bat world. wobbley-bob
  • Score: 1

11:24am Tue 11 Feb 14

Shipleyvegas says...

Such a shame that the building isn't on thornton road - would have been torched by now bats or no bats.
Such a shame that the building isn't on thornton road - would have been torched by now bats or no bats. Shipleyvegas
  • Score: -1

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