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Bats flying in our latest Class Q Barn Approval

We are delighted to have gained class Q prior approval from Dorset Council to convert these historic barns into residential use at Sutton Farm near Verwood.

The proposal will retain as much of the existing barns as possible, including the original timber structure, featuring traditional medieval carpentry details, as used for hundreds of years in timber framed barns. The structure will be exposed internally to maintain the character of the barns and following positive negotiation with the planning officer, we ensured that any new openings were in keeping with the agricultural setting.

existing barn with wood cladding and tiled roof
existing barn with wood cladding and tiled roof

By their very nature, barns provide perfect conditions for roosting bats, and it is critical that an ecologist is appointed early in this process to identify, through surveys, whether bats are present and how they are using the space. One of these bat activity surveys is shown in the video above. This captured footage of; firstly a greater horseshoe bat, which is really rare, and secondly a common pipistrelle flying in and out of the barn. Thankfully for our clients the bats are not roosting in the barn. With your sound turned on, you should be able to hear the bats echolocating, picked up by a bat detector.

This wonderful video was taken by Adrian Bicker, working for KP Ecology, based in Poole, who provide an excellent service on many of our projects.

Now that prior approval has been granted, we will begin the technical design stage with a view to gaining building control approval. Construction will need to commence between October and April, to avoid disturbing bats during their active summer months.

Published 08 June 2023

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