Natural England’s newt licensing scheme launched in Cheshire

Natural England’s district licensing scheme for great crested newts continues to be rolled out nationwide, following the announcement that Cheshire has adopted the system.

Two Cheshire councils, in partnership with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust and Natural England, will allow developers across the county to apply for great crested newt licences under the new district level licensing scheme, it was announced yesterday.

The district level permitting scheme was launched in Kent last month and is currently available to developers across 23 local planning authority areas in England, including across Woking and the South Midlands.

Under district licensing, developers do not have to apply for a licence to destroy great crested newt habitat or move animals because an authorised body, such as the council, has already obtained it. Instead, they must pay into a pot to offset any losses, and that money is used to create new habitat elsewhere.

Developers use councils’ ecological surveys to help them identify, restore and create offsite newt habitats and ponds as a means of mitigation for any anticipated damages caused by their developments. The habitats are created prior to any development taking place.

Natural England believes the scheme saves developers time and money as it removes the need for expensive ecological surveys needed to be carried out prior to building works and takes out the effort of applying for individual licences to disturb newts if they are present.

The regulator also believes this scheme creates more healthy and resilient newt populations rather than the old licensing system which focussed on individual development sites creating a situation where the protected species was being “squeezed in and around the margins of a development.”

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The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/1012)

In force/
Current
Legislation
England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, UK, Wales
Published
09 Jan 2018

Commentary

02/11/2017 An explanatory memorandum was published alongside these Regulations., 20/11/2017 A correction slip was published.
10/12/2018 Amending Regulations (SI 2018/1307) published., 19/03/2019 Amending Regulations ( SI 2019/579) published.

Compliance Dates

30/11/2017 Comes into force

Characteristics

Subject

Land and development Wildlife and conservation

Source

OPSI (Office of Public Sector Information)

Affected Sectors

Cross-sector Agriculture Animal Boarding and Pest Control Fishing and aquaculture Forestry Water Electricity Gas Construction Transport Road Transport Consultancy Offices Real Estate and Public Administration Public Sector Conservation Land Management and Landscaping
ECM

The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/1012)

Document Status: In force/Current

Scope: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, UK, Wales

Commentary:

02/11/2017 An explanatory memorandum was published alongside these Regulations., 20/11/2017 A correction slip was published.
10/12/2018 Amending Regulations (SI 2018/1307) published., 19/03/2019 Amending Regulations ( SI 2019/579) published.

Compliance:

30/11/2017 Comes into force

DEFRA and Natural England have banked the scheme’s proof of concept on a 2016 pilot scheme in Woking, which ENDS revealed had minimal uptake. In spite of this limited success, Natural England is hoping to push the district licensing out to 150 councils by next year.

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  • Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (c.69)
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    Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (c.69)

    In force/
    Current
    Legislation
    England, Scotland, Wales
    Published
    08 May 2018

    Commentary

    06/02/2013 The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (Variation of Schedules A1 and 1A) (Scotland) Order 2013 (SI 2013/31) published, adding species to Schedules 1A and A1., 23/04/2015 Amending Regulations (SI 2015/1180) published.
    07/07/2015 Amending Act (Planning (Wales) Act 2015) published.
    09/02/2016 Amending Regulations (SI 2016/127) published.
    01/05/2018 Amending Act ( Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018) published., 19/03/2019 Amending Regulations ( SI 2019/579) published.

    Characteristics

    Subject

    Land and development Wildlife and conservation

    Source

    OPSI (Office of Public Sector Information)

    Affected Sectors

    Cross-sector Agriculture Animal Boarding and Pest Control Fishing and aquaculture Forestry Construction Conservation Land Management and Landscaping

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