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Boathouse restoration beats bat deadline

CONTRACTS

AN HISTORIC lakeside boathouse at a stately home in Derby has been saved from collapse.

The boathouse, a protected building, was damaged when its footing slipped into the lake in the grounds of Elvaston Castle Country Park, near Derby.

To save it from almost certain collapse, foundation contractor Van Elle, working for Derbyshire County Council, took down both the load bearing walls and rebuilt them on new piled foundations. Other parts of the boathouse were underpinned.

A corner of the lake was temporarily dammed to allow foundation work. Part of the contract involved removing silt. Van Elle worked with the Environment Agency to prevent contamination of local water courses and to manage waste disposal.

But time was the biggest challenge for the construction team. A bat licence issued for the boathouse by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs meant work had to be completed by 5 May, the date when bats were expected to begin returning to the building.

The bats arrived on schedule but the workers did even better:

they finished a week early.

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