Avian Ecology offer ecological surveys for protected species including Great Crested Newts and we are pleased to announce that Principal Ecologist Andrew Logan is one of the first Registered Consultants to hold a Great Crested Newt ‘Low Impact Class Licence’, providing considerable benefits to our clients.
The Great Crested Newt Low Impact Class Licence has now been introduced by Natural England, with the objective of reducing the licensing burden for development projects which may have a small impact on newts. This process is part of Natural England’s drive to reduce ‘red tape’ and enable development by allowing selected consultant ecologists to take on work with reduced regulation. Consultants must fully demonstrate their technical capability through Natural England and CIEEM’s ‘Earned Recognition’ process before registration, with the first consultants registered in summer 2016.
Andrew can now help certain developments to proceed through the planning system without the usual complexities associated with newt mitigation. However, the criteria where a Low Impact Class Licence can be applied are strict; developments must be of small scale, relatively short in duration and waterbodies used by newts not directly affected. For larger projects conventional licensing is still a requirement and it is also important to note that the legislative protection afforded to great crested newts still applies; the new system is designed simply to enable compliance with less licensing burden where smaller impacts will occur, and does not remove a developer’s legal obligations.
The Low Impact Class Licence process is a welcome improvement to a previously cumbersome licencing system, allowing a carefully controlled yet proportionate approach to newt conservation to be applied where circumstances allow. To see if your development could benefit from the new licencing process, call Andrew on 0843 506 5116.