A colony of long-eared bats is unlikely to delay the construction of a new £100m hotel complex at St Mellion International Hotel, Golf & Country Club.
Plans for the Crown Golf course near Saltash in Cornwall include the demolition of the existing hotel, where the bats are hibernating in the roof space. Although some work is due to start at the site early next year, the venue is not scheduled for demolition until March, by which time the bats should have flown.
Simon Lane, general manager at St Mellion, said, “We’re working with ecologists to ensure that all the bats have flown before the building is touched, and to ensure that everything we do around St Mellion in the meantime is considerate towards them.”
Crown Golf is amending plans for the new hotel complex to include bat-friendly features, and is adding a specially designed bat dormitory to the project.
Ecologist Jeff Picksley from Terence O‘Rourke, part of the development team for St Mellion, said, “Bats are a protected species and works to buildings known to be used by bats are controlled. Crown Golf is obtaining a licence from Natural England to allow the demolition of the hotel to go ahead this spring, after the bats’ hibernation ends and before their breeding season begins.
“We are working closely with the company and building contractors on site to ensure the colony remains undisturbed this winter and is able to return to a safe, purpose-built bat dormitory in future.”
Work at St Mellion International Hotel, Golf & Country Club will include the complete refurbishment of the existing clubhouse, a new and extended hotel and improvements to both golf courses along with the construction of up to 265 golf homes. The new 80-bed hotel is due to open to guests in Spring 2009.
St Mellion International Hotel, Golf & Country Club, which will be staging the English Open in summer 2009, was opened in 1976 and is set among 450 acres of rolling Cornish countryside.
The complex features two courses and is regarded worldwide as one of the finest golf resorts in the UK. The Nicklaus Course officially opened in July 1988, and was the first golf course designed in the UK by the legendary Jack Nicklaus.
The venue is part of the Crown Golf group, the UK’s largest golf course owner with 33 properties in its portfolio and more than 50 courses.
Crown Golf www.crown-golf.co.uk