Renovations to the parliamentary estate are being hampered by the threat to bats roosting in the roofs above MPs’ offices. Next week John Bercow is sending inspection teams round Norman Shaw North to gauge how many of the night-loving winged mammals have made their homes in the building’s roof voids. A significant discovery of the endangered toothy critters could lead to planning permission being denied:
“As part of the Northern Estates Programme a visual survey of all rooms in Norman Shaw North is required. Part of the survey will involve images to be taken of all rooms, these images will be for use in the project only.
Alongside this there will also be an ecology survey of all roof voids in Norman Shaw North. The ecology survey will establish an understanding of the likelihood of roosting bats and inform a key requirement for the planning application of the project.”
The Bat Conservation Trust says that in the UK bat populations have declined significantly over the last decade, with the loss of habitat caused by building and development work one of the main reasons behind plunging numbers. Usually the high-pitched squeaking comes from the Speaker’s chair…