20th August 2012

Three pipistrelle and brown-long eared bat roosts were destroyed during the demolition of a building on an industrial site in Penrith.

Thomas Dent, aged 48 years, from Penrith pleaded guilty at Carlisle Magistrates Court to the destruction of three bat roosts and was fined £7,500 with £85 costs and £15 victim surcharge.

An ecological survey and had been carried out at the site identifying the roosts, and planning permission was granted on condition mitigation measures and a compensation strategy were put in place for bats. Thomas Dent, CEO of the haulage company who owned the buildings, was responsible for giving permission for the demolition to take place without putting these mitigation measures put in place.

Pete Charleston BCT Investigations Officer explains:

"The law allows for building, development and demolition to take place at bat roosts provided that the impact on bats is minimised by following the certain conditions as set out in a license. If you plan works and follow the mitigation measures as outlined in the license, projects can run smoothly; if you don't it is a serious offence, bats are put at risk with long-lasting consequences for bat populations."

All bats and their roost are protected by law whether the roost is occupied or not. There is a maximum punishment of 6 months imprisonment and or a maximum fine of £5,000 for each offence under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010.

BCT have supported Cumbria Police and the Crown Prosecution Service throughout the investigation and praise the work of the CPS and the police for their work.