Breeding bat colony discovery puts work to Northampton flats back weeks

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Residents in a block of Northampton flats will have to endure scaffolding outside their homes for much longer than expected - after breeding bats were found on the top floor.

Northampton Partnership Homes is currently refurbishing Abbey House, Devonshire House and Melbourne House in St James, fitting new windows and external wall insulation aimed at making the blocks more energy efficient.

Balconies, front entrance doors and external lighting are also being replaced to make them more homely.

But the improvement works at Melbourne House, in Abbey Street, could be put back weeks after bats were discovered in the roof space.

Project manager Chris Parr, said: “We were starting the roof work at Melbourne House and, when removing a fascia, our contractors discovered roosting bats.

“Work was immediately stopped and a bat survey was carried out, which told us that the bats were a breeding colony.

“We are now obliged to stop work to allow this protected species to breed in peace.”

Mr Parr said another survey of the bats will be instructed in September to assess whether the protected mammals have moved on.

Their breeding season is expected to have finished by September.

However, it means the work will now not be finished in August as first planned.

Mr Parr continued: “We know that this delay is disappointing for Melbourne House residents and we would like nothing more than to complete the project in August as planned, however this is now not possible.

“Work in Abbey and Devonshire House will not be affected.

“As soon as we get the all-clear, we will be back on site to complete the works as soon as we possibly can.”

If you would like to speak to Northampton Partnership Homes about its planned works, call 01604 838299.