Lewisham residents have joined forces to stop property developers destroying the habitat of bats in Elliot Park.

The bats, which forage in the park in the summer and frequently fly over the area, are at high risk say residents who are taking action to prevent three planning applications from going ahead.

Resident Rachel Ellis is attempting to get the species of the bats identified.

The 62-year-old said: “Everyone on my committee is concerned about the welfare of the bats as the garden space being developed is so close to the developments in Lewisham.”

The retired teacher added: “It’s not good enough that they are wanting to take that space away from the bats, it’s appalling really.”

Mrs Ellis also said that she does not recall a proper survey being done in which locals can have their say to Lewisham Council before works takes place.

Councillor Kevin Bonavia said: “Developing older houses to increase income or market value is a sensitive issue. We need to get the balance right between an owner’s right to change their property and the impact it can have on the surrounding area. If we don’t, then we risk damaging our beautiful areas like Elliot Park forever.”