12th August 2022

Two directors for a housing developer have been prosecuted and fined £7,400 for renovating a former primary school in Monmouthshire without taking bats into account - on an estate that’s named after bats.

Caer Construction’s directors Jan Milsom and Mark Potter renovated old school buildings to create two new houses at an address called Pipistrelle Court in Llanfoist, Monmouthshire.

However they failed to follow the wildlife protection conditions made under a bat licence issued by Natural Resources Wales. Bats were known to be present. They both pleaded guilty on behalf of the company.

Case officer PC Mark Powell said: “The conservation of bats and other protected species must be ensured if future generations are to benefit from their continued existence. Bats face ever-increasing challenges every day. Hopefully this prosecution will serve as a reminder to developers and anyone carrying out work on buildings containing bats that they must follow the appropriate guidelines and ensure that any construction work is carefully completed within the law.

“I would like to thank the National Wildlife Crime Unit for their investigative advice and support, Natural Resources Wales and the Bat Conservation Trust who carry out excellent work.”

The Bat Conservation Trust views prosecutions as a last resort, it is far better for the bats and for the developers to aim for prevention, and conservation, rather than finding themselves dealing with the consequences of harming wildlife and breaking the law, with losses both to wildlife, a developer’s reputation and costs.

These fines will serve as a warning to other developers who carry out any work without first ensuring all agreed licence conditions are followed and that all works protect and provide future habitat for legally protected species.

BCT provides a wealth of guidance on our website and via the Biodiversity in Planning website here on planning and development relating to bats. There is also a list of competent bat ecologists on the CIEEM website here.