Ozzy Osbourne has been bitten by bats – after their presence in his countryside barn led to council bosses refusing his application to convert it into a home.

The Black Sabbath frontman – who famously bit the head off a bat while onstage in 1982 – applied for permission to turn a building on his Buckinghamshire property into a two-bedroom house. But Chiltern District Council refused, saying there was evidence that bats, a protected species in the UK, live in the barn's rafters.

The authority will not consider any application for the conversion until Ozzy can prove the animals' welfare will be protected.

A council spokesman tells the BBC: "Mr Osbourne cannot convert his listed building until satisfactory surveys and related mitigation, allowing the bats and owls to remain living on the site, is submitted. We must be satisfied measures have been put in place to protect the animals before planning permission can be considered.”

A spokesman for Ozzy says it is a private matter. 

The Prince Of Darkness achieved a new level of notoriety after his onstage stunt in 1982. He's always claimed he thought a fan had thrown a rubber bat at him, and only realised it was a real creature once he'd sunk his teeth into it.

In his memoir I Am Ozzy he writes: “Immediately, something felt wrong. Very wrong. For a start, my mouth was instantly full of this warm, gloopy liquid, with the worst aftertaste you could ever imagine. I could feel it staining my teeth and running down my chin. Then the head in my mouth twitched. 'Oh, fuck me,' I thought. 'I didn't just go and eat a bat, did I?'”

He was treated for rabies as a precaution following the incident in Iowa, USA.

Top 5 Ozzy bat songs

1: Fairies Wear Bats

2: Bat Shit Crazy Train

3: Bat At The Moon

4: Diary Of A Batman

5: War Bats