National roll-out of new approach to great crested newt licensing

Natural England is to implement an innovative new approach to the conservation of great crested newts across the country.

An improved approach to the conservation of great crested newts is to be rolled out across England.
The new approach has been piloted in partnership with Woking Borough Council in Surrey. It has focused on bringing the greatest benefits to the amphibians while streamlining the licensing process for housing developers. The approach will now start to be introduced across the country after its roll-out was announced in the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Housing White Paper today.

This new 3 year programme will survey areas where newts are most prevalent, map the potential impacts of development and propose local conservation strategies for the species in partnership. As part of the project, great crested newt habitat is enhanced or created prior to any development taking place, saving developers time and money, and making newt populations more healthy and resilient.

In May 2016, Woking borough council was awarded an organisational licence, allowing it to authorise operations that may affect great crested newts on development sites at the same time as planning permission, removing the need for expensive surveys prior to building works and individual licences to disturb newts if they are present. As part of the project, great crested newt habitat is enhanced or created prior to any development taking place, saving developers time and money, and making newt populations more healthy and resilient.

Read the full article from the gov.uk website – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/national-roll-out-of-new-approach-to-great-crested-newt-licensing