Beds, Herts & Bucks

Ozzy Osbourne Buckinghamshire estate conversion foiled by bats

Ozzy Osbourne
Birmingham-born Ozzy Osbourne became known as the Prince of Darkness for his on-stage antics and hedonistic lifestyle.

Rocker Ozzy Osbourne cannot convert part of his Buckinghamshire estate until he can protect the bats which live there, the council said.

The Black Sabbath singer, who once claimed he bit the head off a live bat, applied to turn a barn on his Jordans' estate into a two-bedroom home.

The council refused after "considerable evidence" of bats and owls were found there.

It said measures had to be put in place to protect the animals.

All species of bat and their roosts are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010.

Chiltern District Council said interim surveys of the building at Stone Dean Farm near Chalfont St Giles had found droppings and feeding remains of what were "possibly brown long-eared" bats and the roosts of common and soprano pipistrelles,

It added any conversion work would have an impact on the creatures unless it was undertaken at the correct time of year.

Two further surveys, which can only be carried out at certain times of the year, will be undertaken between May and August.

The bats must be protected before the work can begin

A council spokeswoman said: "Mr Osbourne cannot convert his listed building until satisfactory surveys and related mitigation, allowing the bats and owls to remain living on the site, is submitted.

"We must be satisfied measures have been put in place to protect the animals before planning permission can be considered."

A spokesman for Mr Osbourne said it was a "private matter".

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