A new application has been lodged to create homes from the ruins of Cattistock Lodge.
The once fine home, built in the Victorian era after being moved to make way for the railway line, has been left to rot for a number of years. The whole building is in a state of collapse, after the death of its former owner Margetta ‘Peggy’ Soulsby.
An application to convert the main house to seven dwellings and build three mews houses last year was turned down as a formal ecological survey had not been carried out.
Now a reduced scheme for the main house to be converted into seven dwellings has been submitted, along with an ecological survey, which notes the presence of bats.
The surveyor says: “Bats are present in the main building on site and bats are foraging and flying through the site. Bat activity surveys have been carried out and a European Protected Species Licence (EPSL) will be required.”
They added: “Greater and Lesser horseshoe bats are using the main building of Cattistock Lodge to roost.
“Both bat species were seen leaving the building on the SW side through a doorway and two windows, although the surveyors cannot be certain that all bats emerging from the building were seen due to complexity of the building and the inability to see every elevation clearly. These two species together with both Common and Soprano pipistrelle bats were also seen and/or heard commuting through the site.”
The surveyor said it was not possible to carry out a full survey due to the dangerous state of the buildings.
Mitigation will be needed to protect badgers who may use the site, though there was no evidence badgers were present.
Further measures must be put in place for nesting birds, otters and hedgehogs.
The plans will include bat boxes on trees, integral bat bricks in the buildings, integral bird bricks, bird boxes, on trees in the grounds, a reptile hibernacula, hedgehog houses and bee bricks. The gardens will be landscaped with native fruit trees and species good for pollinators. An ecologist will oversee the installation of all these measures.
The plans, numbered P/FUL/2022/05175, are now out for consultation before being decided by a planning officer under delegated powers.