WILDLIFE PROTECTION AND MITIGATION PLAN

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					                                                                                     LARKSBOROUGH COTTAGE
                                                                                               WHITCHURCH
                                                                                                HAMPSHIRE

                                                                                                                         Report for:
WILDLIFE PROTECTION AND                                                                                      Mr and Mrs S Cranstone
                                                                                                               Larksborough Cottage
MITIGATION PLAN                                                                                               Whitchurch, Hampshire



Overview

AA Environmental LLP (AAe) have completed surveys to confirm the status and importance of the site for
bats.

An initial survey carried out in March 2009, identified bat droppings within the attic of the cottage. A follow-
up survey (dusk and pre-dawn survey) was completed in June 2009.

The results of the surveys confirm that the cottage supports brown long-eared bats in what is considered to
be a maternity roost and therefore of medium conservation value1 as well as being occasionally used by
individual serotine bats. Bats that emerged from the cottage briefly foraged around the shelter of the
surrounding hedgerows and trees before flying off either to the east or along Kingsclere Road. A small
number passes by both common pipistrelle and Natterer’s bats were also recorded, the majority of which
appeared to be using the established vegetation along the Road as a flightline.

None of the established vegetation is to be affected by the proposals, but the cottage is scheduled to be
demolished and replaced by a single dwelling on a similar footprint.


Mitigation

The following measures are considered necessary and will be provided in more detail to support an
European Protected Species (EPS) licence application in due course.

A replacement roost, suitable for brown long-eared bats as well as other species of bats, will be provided
above the new double garage to be constructed on the site (see attached Figures 1 and 2). The new garage
will be of timber construction and have a pitched tiled roof. It will measure approximately 6.5 m by 6.5 m and
will have a 45o pitch and consequently a ridge height of over 3 m, which will provide a pre-emergence flying
space for bats. The roof will be lined with a bitumen based felt with the timbers treated with bat friendly
chemicals. The ceiling of the garage will be insulated and boarded out with plasterboard to seal the roof
space, with a single access provided for monitoring purposes. The roof space will be ‘seeded’ with
droppings collected from the cottage. Ridge tiles at a couple of locations along the roof will be raised to
provide a gap of 20 mm allowing access for bats into the roof space. To facilitate this there will also be
corresponding access points cut within the roofing felt beneath the raised ridge tiles to provide access into
the roof space. In addition, alternative access points will be provided at the top of each gable end of the
garage. Within the roof space false mortise joints and bat boxes (wooden plank construction) will be
provided to vary roosting opportunities for a range of bat species.

To provide alternative roosting opportunities six 2FN Schwegler bat boxes will be installed on suitable trees
present on the site and positioned in accordance with best practice (indicative locations are shown on Figure
1).

Only once the above mitigation measures have been fully implemented on the site, will the demolition works
commence, which will be carried out in the following precautionary manner:




1
    Figure 4. Guidelines for proportional mitigation. English Nature, Bat Mitigation Guidelines (January 2004).

AA Environmental LLP, Carriage House Office                                                                                  093072
Guydens Farm, Garsington, Oxon OX44 9AZ                                                                                November 2009
E info@aae-llp.com                                                                                                        Page 1 of 3
T 01865 361859
                                                                    LARKSBOROUGH COTTAGE
                                                                              WHITCHURCH
                                                                               HAMPSHIRE

The attic will be carefully checked by the licensed bat worker/accredited agent for any roosting bats. The
roof and other key features of the cottage will be removed under the supervision of the licensed bat
worker/accredited agent and carried out under a soft strip protocol. The strip/demolition of the building will be
timed during the least sensitive times for bats and either completed March/April or September/October, so as
to not disturb any maternity colony or hibernating bats. The strip of the building will follow the controls
detailed below:

•   initial works on the roof will be carried out with great care. All roof tiles will be lifted and removed by
    hand, lifting them clear with two hands rather that lifting the front and rolling the tile backwards which
    may crush any bats beneath; and
•   tiles will also be checked underneath before throwing or stacking as bats sometimes cling to the
    undersides of tiles.

Should any bats be encountered during this initial check and soft strip, they will be caught by hand by the
ecologist and placed in a bat box with the hole loosely blocked with a piece of cloth to prevent them
escaping. At the end of the day, the bat box will be attached to a suitable tree, the cloth removed and the bat
allowed to move off overnight. The box will be checked the following day and assuming that no bats are still
present, the box will be taken down.

In addition to the above controls, plant species of known value for bats will be incorporated into the
landscape treatment on the site to improve foraging opportunities for bats. The site is in a rural location and
currently not well lit and therefore any new lighting to be introduced should be fitted with hoods to minimise
light spillage and disturbance to bats and not directed onto any roost entrances on the replacement roost or
to any of the bat boxes installed.


Legislative compliance

The species protection provisions of the Habitats Directive, as implemented by the Conservation (Natural
Habitats etc.) Regulations 1994, contain three "derogation tests". The three tests, as used by Natural
England when determining licensing applications, will also need to be satisfied by Basingstoke and Deane
Borough Council. These three tests are:

•   favourable conservation status of the species must be maintained;
•   there must be no satisfactory alternative; and
•   the activity must be for imperative reasons of overriding public interest or for public health and safety.

It has been acknowledged by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, that the range of mitigation
measures put forward, and as detailed within this document, should be sufficient to maintain favourable
conservation status of the bat species present. The following text addresses the remaining two tests:

Test 2. No Satisfactory Alternative

Larksborough Cottage is a detached two-storey dwelling situated in a large plot to the north of Whitchurch in
a rural location. The dwelling is a house built in the late 1800’s and constructed of brick elevations under a
pitched and slated roof.

The house has been extended during its history, with the construction of single storey lean-to extensions to
the north and west sides.

The present proposal to demolish the existing house and rebuild a new larger dwelling has been considered
in detail over the past 2/3 years by the owners and their advisors, resulting in this present planning
application.

The present occupiers have owned the property for a number of years. They have a young family and wish
to create a larger house with more modern open plan internal areas. The present house is small with

AA Environmental LLP, Carriage House Office                                                               093072
Guydens Farm, Garsington, Oxon OX44 9AZ                                                             November 2009
E info@aae-llp.com                                                                                     Page 2 of 3
T 01865 361859
                                                                    LARKSBOROUGH COTTAGE
                                                                              WHITCHURCH
                                                                               HAMPSHIRE

restrictive space both at ground floor and particularly at first floor. The kitchen is in a cold lean-to extension
with no space for family dining.

The house is poorly insulated with old single glazed windows and suspended timber floors. The site is
elevated and exposed.

The existing house, although structurally stable, has many areas of extensive repair required to the various
roofs, external walls, rainwater goods and chimneys.

They have looked at extending and altering the existing house, but the designs have not been successful
and tend to produce a larger bulky building which does not enhance the plot or the local area. The extended
building still has to incorporate the existing property with its poor construction and limited insulation.

Also in assessing the cost of extending and refurbishment, it was found to be more viable to demolish the
existing house and construct a new dwelling. Thus the needs of the family could be supported with a modern
contemporary open plan internal area but with external elevations, which are of a high quality design,
commensurate with the plot and surrounding countryside. The new dwelling can be constructed to the
highest insulation standards with robust details to suit the elevated exposed site. As many modern energy
saving features can be introduced - ground and air source heat pumps, grey water recycling etc.

In addition, many of the new standards for carbon neutral new build buildings can be incorporated into the
design and the materials.

It is considered that the present property has no architectural or historic interest. This has been supported by
the Conservation Officer where he states – the property fails to meet the criteria above and will not be put
forward to be added to the Local List at this time.

Test 3. preserving public health or public safety or other imperative reasons of overriding public
interest including those of a social or economic nature and beneficial consequences of primary
importance for the environment’;

The major benefits for the demolition and rebuilding of the property are those of social, economic and
environmental.

The existing property is cramped and not suited to modern family living, costly to heat and maintain and will
be nearing the end of its useful life in a few years to come. Hence the social benefit is to create a modern
efficient home which will benefit local families for the next 100 years.

The benefit to the economy is the major reduced costs in running an energy efficient home and to provide
accommodation with a large study/office which will enable the owners and future occupiers to work from
home rather than commute to surrounding towns like Andover and Basingstoke. The current house provides
no space for home work.

The major benefit will be to the environment due to the substantial reduction in energy requirements and the
subsequent significant reduction in carbon emissions.

It is considered that with the series of mitigation measures to be implemented on the site, there should be no
deleterious effects on the conservation status of the bats that are using the site and therefore favourable
conservation status will be maintained.




093072/ARB                                                                               AA Environmental LLP
November 2009

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AA Environmental LLP, Carriage House Office                                                               093072
Guydens Farm, Garsington, Oxon OX44 9AZ                                                             November 2009
E info@aae-llp.com                                                                                     Page 3 of 3
T 01865 361859
                                              LARKSBOROUGH COTTAGE
                                                        WHITCHURCH
                                                         HAMPSHIRE




                                                              Figures




AA Environmental LLP, Carriage House Office                       093072
Guydens Farm, Garsington, Oxon OX44 9AZ                     November 2009
E info@aae-llp.com
T 01865 361859