And finally… Bats threaten Andy Murray Cromlix House refurb

Andy Murray’s plans for his own Scottish holiday home in the grounds of his luxury hotel appears to be held up by a colony of rare bats.

Bosses at Cromlix House are bidding to convert an old, abandoned gas house on the 34 acre estate into a three-bedroom house.

The derelict building is at the rear of the hotel, near tennis ace Murray’s hometown of Dunblane, Perthshire.

However, the Scotsman reports that the plans could hit a snag after wildlife campaigners called for a bat survey to be carried out at the property.

Former Wimbledon champion Murray, 27, bought Cromlix for £1.9 million in 2013 and said he wanted to put something back into the community he grew up in.

He is set to hold his wedding reception there this Saturday after tying the knot with fiancee Kim Sears at Dunblane Cathedral.

Management at Cromlix House have submitted a planning application to Stirling Council for the house conversion but said there are no firm plans in place for who would stay there.

Drawing submitted show a two-storey home with glass doors, cream walls, a slated roof and an entrance porch.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) have raised concerns that bats, which are a protected species, could be roosting in the building.

In a letter to the council, Sue Sexton, of the SWT’s Stirling and Clacks group, said: “Could the applicant please be informed of the need to have these premises checked for bats before any work starts and a survey carried out if the presence of bats is indicated.

“I note the building has been used for storage but as no photos have been supplied it is impossible to assess its state of repair.

“Generally older buildings will have crevices and cracks where bats can gain entry and there may be roosts. In this sort of rural site the presence of bats is very likely.”

It is a criminal offence to deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat, or intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost. It is also against the law to damage or destroy a bat roosting place even if bats are not occupying the roost at the time.

Planners at the local authority are due to make a decision on whether it can get the go ahead in the next month.

The hotel underwent a extensive refurbishment after Murray purchased it and reopened last April with ten rooms and five suites named after famous Scots including Sir Sean Connery and Sir Chris Hoy.

A spokeswoman for Cromlix House said: “There are no immediate plans for the building at the moment.

“The previous owners of the hotel had applied to do this but the application has lapsed.

“We want to keep the application live in case we want to do something with it in the near future.”

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