Hospital set to get new bat homes

A special habitat is set to be installed at the site of Mansfield’s former General Hospital - after it was discovered that the area is populated by protected species of bats.

Mansfield District Council, which owns the West Hill Drive site, wants to demolish the former hospital and build housing.

But following architectural surveys, it has emerged that the former hospital is home to a community of brown long-eared and pipistrelle bats, which are classified as protected species under European Law.

Developers have a legal duty to provide an alternative environment for the creatures before any demolition work can take place - effectively destroying their habitat.

The council has therefore applied to its own planning department for the reection of a special bat house - which will provide alternative accommodation once the hospital is demolished.

The authority intends to erect a carport on the site with a special area in the roof which will allow the bats to roost.

This structure will will then be incorporated within any future housing development, giving the bats a permanent home.

“The proposed structure has been carefully designed so it will be retained into the overall housing scheme,” planning documentation states.