Royal Parks has raised concerns the bat population at Bushy and Richmond Park would be affected by plans to develop Surbiton filter beds.

The body, which manages London’s historic parklands, is concerned wildlife displacement from the filter beds would affect the population of Daubenton’s bats at the neighbouring parks according to a planning files report.

Simon Richards, Royal Parks and park manager at Bushy Park and Richmond Park, said: “The Royal Parks has lodged concerns to Kingston Council regarding the proposed development at the Surbiton Filter beds based on potential ecological disruption to nearby Bushy Park and Richmond Park.

“Our concerns are particularly related to any impact this development could have on the local bat population.”

Eco-expert Alison Fure said the Daubenton’s bats, which roost at the filter beds and are among the last left in Kingston, would be displaced if Hydro pushed ahead with the plans.

She said: “We have been saying all along that the ecological assessments carried out by developers have not been sufficient.

“They talk a lot about the ecology of the site while planning to build a car park on the home of rare species of bats. Are they having a laugh?

“I am proud of the council making sure it has all the information before making an informed decision.

“We will continue to push and push until a proper ecological assessment is carried out by Hydro.”

The news comes as Kingston Council revealed the final decision, due on February 23, had been put on hold because of “unresolved ecology issues”.

Kingston Council said developers Hydro Properties needed to supply more about the ecology concerns raised by environmental groups before it could make a decision on whether to allow the construction of 64 flats to go ahead.

Hydro Properties did not respond before the Surrey Comet went to press.

The Surbiton filter bed with its smorgasbord of small flies, midges, mayflies, and moths provides the perfect home for Daubenton’s bats.

The bat, Myotis daubentonii, always roosts close to water, mainly in woodlands throughout Britain, Europe, and as far as Japan and Korea.

It emits sounds too high in frequency for humans to detect and interpret the echoes created to build a sound picture of their surroundings.

All bats in Britain are protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 and are also protected by the Conservation Regulations of 1994.

Daubenton’s bat is an endangered species in Germany and Austria.