Bats delay village housing scheme in Low Bradfield

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Proposals to convert a derelict water filter works in the Low Bradfield conservation area into housing are being held up by bats.

A protected species survey has to be carried out in the summer before a decision can be taken on an application to turn the derelict building into 15 studio apartments.

The scheme, which also involves adding five cottages in the grounds and using old ponds as a trout farm, off Mill Lee Road, has been withdrawn for the time being.

It is due to be resubmitted to the Peak Park planning authority once the survey results are known.

Barry Stancer, of Sheffield architects Tatlow Stancer, said there would be some minor amendments to the application, but the key reason for withdrawing it was to meet new government guidelines on protected species, in this instance, primarily bats.

The filter works, near The Plough pub, were built in 1913 to purify water from Strines, Dale Dyke and Agden Valley reservoirs, and closed in 1995 when a new treatment works was opened in the Loxley Valley.

Many Bradfield residents welcome the prospect of an “eyesore” being removed, but issues such as the scale of the development and the parking implications, especially in the summer, when the village is busy, are being raised. The application is from Bradfield Waterworks Ltd.