IT is ‘unlikely’ hibernating bats found in a site set for demolition will entirely prevent a new £25m school on the edge of the town centre being built.

At last Thursday’s full council meeting, Dodworth ward’s Coun Peter Fielding raised a question regarding ‘at least’ a 12-month delay for plans to build the all-new Trinity Academy St Edward’s on a former NHS site on Broadway.

Pupils are being temporarily housed at a former Barnsley College building on Eastgate in the town centre.

Coun Fielding asked what steps had been carried out by the council to avoid the delay - given the assessment which originally discovered the bats was carried out as long ago as July 2020.

Coun Trevor Cave, cabinet spokesperson for children’s services, said: “The bats in the building are currently hibernating.

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“It is unlikely the bats will prevent the plans from taking place.

“However, it is required that we seek input from Natural England to be able to go ahead with the plans.

“The only cost to the council attributed to this project is council officer time, which is expected to be the case throughout.

“A clearer position will become available in the coming weeks.”

Subject to planning permission, the build is now planned to take place during the 2023/24 academic year.