Bats block house extension plans in Jarrow street

A householder’s bid to build a two-storey side extension has been thrown out by council planners over fears that bats could be affected.

Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 2:43 pm

Back in September 2020, South Tyneside Council’s planning department received an application for a property on Victoria Terrace in the Jarrow area.

This included the demolition of a single-storey garage, porch and first floor bathroom to make way for a two-storey side extension.

The proposed development included a ground floor snug, porch and lobby, first floor bedrooms and bathroom facilities.

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Photo issued by Hugh Clark/Bat Conservation Trust of a common pipistrelle, one of the bat species found in South Tyneside.

After considering the submitted plans, the council’s planning authority refused the householder application on Wednesday, November 24.

Although planners deemed the scheme acceptable in terms of design and impact on residential amenity, they held it back over biodiversity issues.

This included fears that the proposals could impact on bats and that the application had not “sufficiently established the presence or otherwise” of the protected species and “the extent that they may be affected by the proposal.”

A planning decision report reads: “The applicant’s preliminary bat roost assessment survey (dated 26/06/20) that was submitted with this application concluded that this application site has minor suitable roosting features externally that could be used by low numbers of common crevice dwelling bat species.

A view down Victoria Terrace in Jarrow.

“This assessment therefore recommended active bat surveys at an appropriate time of year to ascertain whether bats are using the property.”

Council planners added that the proposal clashed with several planning policies as it had not been confirmed that the development would “protect and strengthen populations of priority or other protected species.”

The planning report goes on to say: “An active bat survey was requested on several occasions by the case officer however has not been submitted for consideration.

“Based on the submitted information, it is not considered the presence or otherwise of protected species, and the extent that they may be affected by the proposal, has been sufficiently established.”

The applicant has the right to contest the council’s planning decision by lodging an appeal with the Secretary of State.

For more information on the application and council decision, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search reference: ST/0373/20/HFUL

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