The case against two individuals regarding damage/destroy of a resting place of a wild animal (common pipistrelle bats) at Slack Farm, Ashover in Derbyshire was to be heard on 19 November 2019 at Chesterfield Magistrates court.
Both defendants decided to change their plea and pleaded guilty ahead of witnesses being called. 
Unfortunately the sentence was not what any of us would have liked to have heard. It was very lenient with no fines or time to serve issued. All each of them got was 12 months conditional discharge and the £300 each court fines.  At least there is admission to the wildlife crime, but it wasn't the example to developers etc we were perhaps looking for.
Derbyshire Rural Crime Team said on their Facebook page:

"We are pleased to report another successful prosecution which took place at Chesterfield Magistrates' Court today.

Back in 2018 an application was made to North East Derbyshire District Council by a local developer to demolish an existing bungalow on Amber Lane, Ashover and, in its place, build a new dwelling.

An ecologist's survey identified the presence of Pipistrelle bats in the old building meaning that other measures to protect the bats would be required in advance of any demolition work.

Seeing this as a minor inconvenience, the developer chose to commission a second survey which, more to his liking, produced a report telling of a bat-free zone.

Despite the planning authority’s stipulations, the developer went ahead, razed the old bungalow and built the new house.

Interviews followed with the developer and a second person, and charges contrary to regulation 43(1)(d) and (8) of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 soon followed.

Having indicated a not guilty plea, preparations for a trial were made. However, a guilty plea was entered by both on the day.

The court accepted their pleas and sentenced them to ……..... a conditional discharge for 12 months."

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