Demolition of Co-Op site could be delayed to ‘relocate’ bats

Plans to demolish a former Co-Op in Towcester will have to wait until it can be determined that the building is definitely free from bats.

Wednesday, 25th November 2020, 3:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th November 2020, 3:20 pm
The former Co-Op building in Towcester is due to be demolished.

South Northamptonshire Council purchased the old supermarket, on Richmond Road, in July. And last month it was granted planning permission to demolish the empty building and create a new car park.

The current car park provides 92 parking spaces, while the proposed new car park will provide a total of 152 spaces. But the demolition of the building may take some time, as explained in scrutiny paper to be read by councillors next week.

A briefing from Andrew Hunkin, the council’s executive director for resources, states: “An initial ecology survey determined that it is likely that the store is inhabited by bats, who would need to be relocated. This will require at least one survey to be carried out in May 2021. So the building cannot be demolished now. We are looking to see whether we can have an initial reconfiguration of the car park with the building in situ.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Essential maintenance work on wall and trees is currently being carried out, and CCTV cameras are to be installed at the rear of the convenience store and the disused public toilets.

Part of the scheme’s aim is to bring those public toilets back into use, and Mr Hunkin indicates in his briefing paper that Towcester Town Council has ‘indicated its desire to take over the management of the public conveniences

once refurbished’.