Lights turned off to pro­tect fly­ing bats

Nuneaton Telegraph - - NEWS - Enda Mullen News Re­porter enda.mullen@triniymir­

A RET­RO­SPEC­TIVE ap­pli­ca­tion for a tem­po­rary car park at the Univer­sity of War­wick has been ap­proved af­ter the light­ing was re­duced to pro­tect bats fly­ing in the area.

It was one of a num­ber of con­di­tions pro­posed, along with a stip­u­la­tion it only be used for two years and the site be re­turned to its for­mer con­di­tion.

Late sub­mis­sions to Coven­try City Coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee re­vealed the univer­sity had taken on board a rec­om­men­da­tion in an ecol­o­gist’s re­ports that light­ing on the north and north-east­ern bound­aries be re­moved to pro­tect “for­ag­ing and com­mut­ing bats”.

The univer­sity had ap­plied for a 191-space car park on land to the north of Aca- demic Road close to its Ri­ley Court build­ing which forms part of the War­wick Univer­sity Science Park, for staff, stu­dents and con­struc­tion work­ers. The univer­sity’s cur­rent car park­ing ca­pac­ity, which is lower than in 2005, was un­der pres­sure from grow­ing num­bers of staff and stu­dents – plus con­struc­tion work­ers travel- ling to a num­ber of ma­jor de­vel­op­ment sites. The lat­est ap­pli­ca­tion forms part of the univer­sity’s on­go­ing mas­ter­plan which has seen it given out­line plan­ning per­mis­sion to have 5,422 park­ing spa­ces by 2018.

Coun­cil­lors were told it cur­rently has around 4,500 park­ing spa­ces, a lower fig­ure than it had in 2005 as a re­sult of los­ing spa­ces due to on-go­ing re­de­vel­op­ment.

Peter Smith, an as­so­ciate di­rec­tor at Arup who has been ad­vis­ing the univer­sity, ad­dressed coun­cil­lors and said: “The univer­sity will man­age its car park­ing to make sure it stops within the max­i­mum al­lowed.”

He added the univer­sity was also com­mit­ted to a num­ber of sus­tain­able trans­port ini­tia­tives in­clud­ing im­proved bus ser­vices, a car shar­ing scheme and a bi­cy­cle hire scheme. Coun­cil­lors were told the univer­sity has a num­ber of longterm car park plans, in­clud­ing the cre­ation of a 629-space multi-storey car park.

Coun Tim Sawdon (Con, Wain­body) had raised con­cerns about the traf­fic im­pli­ca­tions for Can­non Park and the sur­round­ing area which he be­lieved had wors­ened re­cently.

A to­tal of three let­ters of ob­jec­tion were re­ceived rais­ing a num­ber of is­sues, in­clud­ing that there was in­ad­e­quate in­fra­struc­ture to cope with ex­ist­ing and ad­di­tional traf­fic and that un­til that was re­solved no more traf­fic should be al­lowed.

Coun­cil­lors unan­i­mously ap­proved the ap­pli­ca­tion.

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