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ECOSA client wins Sussex Heritage Trust Award 2016

12 July 2016

Congratulations to Mr Stuart Mackley of Elberry Properties Limited and Mr Harry Groucott, Director of MH Architects Limited, who were presented with an Award at the Sussex Heritage Trust Awards on Thursday 7th July at Pangdean Old Barn, Pyecombe.

The judges praised the redevelopment of the Grade II Listed former Chichester District Museum for its "high quality flats that combine modern fitting out whilst retaining the structure and details of the original buildings" and commented that "it harmonises with the surrounding buildings whilst ensuring that it maintains its own identity within this part of Chichester’s historic city centre.”

ECOSA were contracted by MH Architects Ltd in 2012 on behalf of Chichester District Council to undertake ecological surveys in support of a planning application to convert the Grade II listed Former District Museum into five residential flats. ECOSA provided all survey and mitigation works throughout the lifetime of the project, resulting in the successful discharge of a planning condition in respect of bats attached to the planning consent.

The extended Phase 1 survey of 2012 recorded no direct evidence of bats within the roof space, however several features considered suitable for bat roosting were recorded externally, such as gaps under ridge and roof tiles, and gaps in the soffit boxes. A single dropping attributed to pipistrelle bat species was recorded adhered to brickwork beneath a section of wooden cladding. Further Phase 2 bat surveys did not record any roosting bats within the building, but two roosting common pipistrelle were recorded in an adjacent off-site building.

It was considered that there would be no requirement to apply for a European Protected Species Mitigation Licence (EPSM) in respect of bats. However, given the number of potential bat roosting features present on the building and the close proximity of a bat roost, it was recommended that the construction works were to be carried out under a method statement written by a suitably qualified ecologist.

Planning consent for the proposed works was granted by Chichester District Council on 15th May 2013; however, a planning condition was attached to this consent, requiring a method statement detailing how the potential impact of the proposed works on bats will be mitigated.

Elberry Properties Ltd became the new owner of the site. To discharge this condition, ECOSA carried out updating survey works in 2015 to assess the current condition of the buildings and to determine a suitable mitigation strategy. This informed the method statement which was provided to the local planning authority prior to works commencing. ECOSA also carried out a toolbox talk to contractors to inform them of the required protocol when working in areas where there is a risk of encountering bats.

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