Anger after bats’ homes ‘destroyed’ in Carcroft

Baby Pipistrelle bats huddled in a nesting box at the West Yorkshire Bat Group in Otley.
Baby Pipistrelle bats huddled in a nesting box at the West Yorkshire Bat Group in Otley.

A resident says he is disgusted that a number of rare bats have been ‘entombed’ after a programme of council house improvement works.

Mick McHugh, of Grasmere Road, Carcroft, said he alerted council workers to at least three different species of bats living in the eaves of the homes before building work started.

But he said despite warnings St. Leger Homes continued to plough ahead with work.

He said: “This work has had a catastrophic affect on these poor critters who are currently hibernating and have been entombed as a result of the work.

“I think it’s disgusting one minute work was suspended because of the bats, the next minute they are carrying on again denying all knowledge.

“Work has halted again for the minute but as far as I’m concerned the damage has already been done.”

The bats sighted by Mr McHugh include a rare white-bellied bat, Greater horseshoe and Pipistrelle bat.

Susan Jordan, Chief Executive of St. Leger Homes, said: “We are committed to responding to customer complaints and have fully investigated this tenant’s concern. Once the issue came to our attention we arranged a site visit with an ecologist and followed all appropriate advice.”

The firm said similar external improvements will also be undertaken in accordance with advice from experts.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected.

A police probe is underway.