Bellway Homes fined £600,000 for wildlife crime at Woolwich development
Developer Bellway Homes have been fined £600,000 following an investigation by the Met Police after admitting to destroying a breeding and resting site for bats at their development known as Battalion Court.
The fine of £600,000 is in addition to costs of £30,000 and a donation of £20,000 to the Bat Conservation Trust. Bellway’s latest results show a profit of £237 million – a level impacted by works to remediate fire dangers at developments.
According to police: “The case was brought after Bellway Homes carried out demolition work at a site in Artillery Place, SE18 in 2018. The presence of Soprano Pipistrelle bats had been documented at the site in 2017 and Bellway Homes had been notified in planning documents that if they wished to carry out work they would need to first obtain the appropriate mitigation and a Natural England European Protected Species licence.
All bats within the UK are European Protected Species.
On 3 December 2018 police were notified by The Royal Borough of Greenwich’s planning department that demolition work had been carried out at the site.
Police made enquiries with Natural England who have confirmed no such licence was applied for by the company for that specific development. The planning officer for the site also confirmed an attempt had been made by Bellway Homes to remove that particular aspect of the planning requirements – this had not been granted.”
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