Wigginton man says: ‘I’ll build a home for bats in my attic’

About 25 per cent of the world's bats are threatened by extinction.
About 25 per cent of the world's bats are threatened by extinction.

A rural householder has applied for planning permission to convert his stable into a home for bats – in a bid to stop them from roosting in the roof of his house.

Gerald Wilkins wants to extend his home, which is on the outskirts of Wigginton, and install two new bedrooms and a shower room in its loft.

As a trade-off for being given permission for the extension, which would constitute ‘inappropriate development in the Green Belt’, he is planning improvements for other parts of his land.

These include planting new trees and demolishing all but one of the ‘unsightly’ agricultural buildings at the back of his property.

As part of the planning process, an inspection found that bats – a protected species – had in the past used the roof of his house as a roosting area.

The one remaining outbuilding - a stable - would have its roof raised to provide a new place for bats to roost, under Mr Wilkins’ plans.

Planning consultant Steve Connell, who is working on Mr Wilkins’ behalf, said: “They nest in eaves and anywhere where there are little gaps for them to get through.

“What you do is give them proper roosting homes, so they can enter it like normal but you would never know they were there.”