Andy Murray ordered to find room for BATS at his 5 star luxury hotel | The SunJuly 11, 2023
SIR Andy Murray has been ordered to find a new home for bats in the grounds of his luxury hotel to allow building work to go ahead.
The tennis star is carrying out renovations at Cromlix hotel near his hometown of Dunblane after he and wife Kim took over the running of it from a management firm.
Surveys of a building in the grounds earmarked for refurbishment have found evidence of roosting soprano pipistrelle bats.
Bats are a protected species under UK law and it is illegal to kill, possess or handle them without a licence or to cause them harm or disturb their habitat in any way.
Stirling Council has granted planning permission for the derelict building to be turned into a storage facility on the condition the bats are protected.
A report from the local authority states that the hotel will need to obtain a licence from heritage body NatureScot and implement mitigation measures to protect the bats before work can be carried out.
The measures include providing a suitable alternative area for the creatures and installing bat friendly lighting and a bat box.
In their report, planning officials said: "Planning permission is sought to refurbish the subject property and to install an air source heat pump.
"The building would be brought back into use as a back of house facility to the hotel to provide a secure storage area.
"A Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA) was undertaken on behalf of the applicant. The results of the PRA show that a total of two roost entry/exit points were identified within the subject building during the activity surveys, with a single soprano pipistrelle recorded emerging from each point during the first activity survey.
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"Given the presence of roosting bats, it will be necessary to obtain an appropriate licence from NatureScot Licensing Team before the planned works can be undertaken on this building.
"The report recommends a single woodcrete bat box should be installed to compensate for the loss of these roosts, and to provide a translocation area for soprano pipistrelles and the use of bat friendly lighting."
It is not the first time building work planned by double Wimbledon champion Murray has been affected by bats.
In 2018 he agreed to share his new mansion with bats in order to allow building work to go ahead.
Specially designed tiles were erected on the roof to allow the creatures access to the loft space of the property in Leatherhead, Surrey.
Murray bought Cromlix near his home town of Dunblane for almost £2 million in 2013 and it has since become a five-star hotel and has won a string of hospitality industry awards.
He held his wedding reception at the hotel in April 2015 after getting hitched to Kim, 35, at Dunblane cathedral and elder brother Jamie was married there.
Murray has said he is considering his future in tennis after his second round loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas at Wimbledon last week.
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