News

Major changes to great crested newt licensing in Kent – Natural England aim to cut the red tape

Author: Matt Rew

As of 28th February 2019, you may no longer need to conduct surveys or on-site mitigation for great crested newts (GCN) for development sites in Kent.

As part of Natural England’s move towards a landscape-scale approach towards conservation and an aim to reduce delays and costs caused to developments, a new District Licensing policy for GCN has been launched in Kent.

You can now chose to sign up to the District Licence scheme, whereby you make a financial contribution to county-wide GCN conservation efforts in key areas for the species. The financial contribution will be determined by Natural England but is based on the ‘risk zone’ your development lies within in terms of known GCN distribution. As a result of making this contribution, you will not be required to carry out GCN surveys, and on-site mitigation may not be required. Due to the seasonal constraints associated both with survey and mitigation for GCN, this may have significant benefits to proposed development across the county.

If you would like further advice on how this may impact an on-going or newly proposed development, please contact our Principal Ecologist, Claire Munn, who will be happy to advise you further: claire@daa-arboriculture.co.uk.

Information regarding the scheme is also available on Natural England’s website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/great-crested-newts-district-level-licensing-schemes.