CHELSEA Captain Cesar Azpilicueta’s plans to build a new seven-bedroom mansion have been thwarted – by bats.
The Spanish defender, 32, wants to raze an existing house and design a super-house with an indoor pool, gym and cinema.
But a bat investigation has found that the £ 3.6million property to be demolished is a roost for the Soprano Pipistrelle and long-eared brown bats – a protected species.
An environmentalist said: “Removing the dwelling house to allow development would result in the destruction and loss of all bat roosts and future bat roosting opportunities and would be illegal unless implemented under the auspices of a bat permit. “
The £ 25million footballer has applied for a building permit to council bosses in Elmbridge, Surrey.
If approved, he will need to apply for a bat permit before construction can begin on the three-story mansion near the Blues Cobham training ground.
The Chelsea captain is also expected to install at least three bat boxes in nearby trees, and three more recommended to boost biodiversity.
Azpilicueta’s planning officer has ordered a second bat survey to establish how many bats are roosting.
Most read in the Premier League
JOIN SUN VEGAS: GET A FREE £ 10 BONUS WITH 100S OF GAMES TO PLAY AND NO DEBTS REQUIRED (General conditions apply)
He said: “Appropriate investigations have been carried out and the results have concluded that the results of the bat investigation are strong and that there is no reason to suspect that a bat dormitory most important exists in the building, requiring the need for further investigation or evaluation of bats. “
Elmbridge, Surrey council planning chiefs will decide if Cesar can move forward with the house in the New Year.
There was no objection from the neighbors.