It seems highly improbable, but should a bet roost be found at the stadium, some effort will have to be made to securely transfer bats into a new location before going forward with the plans.
According to fans’ observations during recent games there may be up to a few bats at Anfield. They become active with thousands of people inside the stadium, whether before or during a game.
Specialists say their roosting under the stadium stands’ roof is very likely, especially with the insect supply at nearby Stanley Park. Whether these are common species or ones protected, analysis will tell. Early descriptions by fans fit regular kinds of bats, but even if only one roosts at Anfield, the club would have to secure it before going forward with expansion plans.
LFC officials say they weren’t aware of the issue, but they haven’t ran their environmental impact assessment for stadium upgrades, so anything found at the stadium during the analysis will be taken into account when applying for the planning permission.
Should bats be found, even those representing strictly protected species, the project will still go ahead, but securing the animals before dismantling any element of the roof will be necessary.
Charlie Liggett, chairman of the Merseyside & West Lancashire Bat group, said: “If it's just one bat, then it’s a bat roost. When a building is taken down it’s done in a careful way – where the bats are seen.
"The difficulty is finding them in a big structure like a stadium – it’s not that like finding them in a three-bedroom detached house.
“There would be a few people checking for the bat roost. An ecologist would use ultrasound gadgets to pick up their noises.”