Bats hold up demolition of eyesore derelict council buildings in Jarrow
Two derelict council-owned buildings which have become a target for vandals could stay standing for some time yet – and it’s all down to bats.
The buildings are earmarked for demolition and stand near Inverness Road on the Scotch Estate in Jarrow.
They formerly made up the South Tyneside Council residential home Perth Green House, which also served as a facility for older people recovering from illness or injury.
But the properties have been empty since 2016 when staff there were transferred to the new Haven Court centre in the grounds of South Tyneside Hospital.
Perth Green House is now boarded up and has become an eyesore for locals, with vandals striking both inside and out.
A number of other buildings in the surrounding area have been flattened in recent years to make way for new developments.
However, bats of any species are protected by law and it doesn’t matter whether the building they live in is occupied or not.
This means demolition on the council properties will not be possible until some time later this year at the earliest.
A bat survey has been carried out on the site, which confirmed that the animals are currently hibernating there. Another survey will not be carried out until hibernation is over, which is typically in March or April.
A South Tyneside Council spokesperson said: “We understand the concerns of the community around the former Perth Green House buildings.
“It is the council’s intention to demolish the buildings with the land to be developed in future.
“Unfortunately, we are unable to progress with these plans at this present time due to the presence of bats on site.
“We continue to monitor the situation closely and work with Natural England so that we can obtain the necessary permissions to move forward. We are also looking to carry out another bat survey when the hibernation season comes to an end in late spring.”
All 18 species of bats in England and Wales are protected. The animals have been declared an endangered species and a European Protected Species.
However, it is not yet known if the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will make any difference to bat protection laws.