Great Crested Newts can cause substantial delays and extra costs to your development. Here are some tips to help avoid project delays and minimise costs.
Conduct a preliminary ecological survey for great crested newt and other protected species
Before commencing with the planning process for your development, it is very important to determine the potential of great crested newt and other protected species presence. This will prevent future delays and associated extra costs during the planning process.
Acer Ecology can carry out an initial survey across the proposed area of your development site to assess the potential of the existing habitat to support great crested newts and other protected species. Appropriate advice upon the outcome of the survey results will be promptly provided.
Provide advice and solutions to avoid impacts on great crested newts
Where potential for great crested newt presence is found on, or within close proximity (500m), to your development site, Acer Ecology will provide expert advice on ways to avoid adverse impacts, if possible, on the species from the proposed works, thereby reducing your project costs and time delays.
Plan and undertake great crested newt surveys
Where impacts from your proposed works are likely to affect great crested newt habitat, a survey will have to be undertaken to establish if there are any great crested newt breeding ponds present and determine the size of populations present.
The timing of the surveys are seasonally constrained to the period mid-March to mid-June, when animals are present in their breeding ponds. If this survey period is missed, there will be a 12 month delay before further great crested newt surveys can be carried out. This would result in a significant setback in the timescale and cost of your development project.
Acer Ecology will help prevent this delay by promptly carry out four to six survey visits within this time period, with at least half of these undertaken between mid-April and mid-May.
Prepare mitigation strategy for great crested newts
The results of the further surveys will indicate the size and distribution of the great crested newt population on your development site. Acer Ecology will then use this information to formulate a precise method statement, outlining the mitigation procedures that will be implemented as part of your development proposals, to mitigate for the loss of any great crested newt habitat and to avoid the injury or killing of the species.
This method statement will be included within your planning application to the relevant Planning Authority. The statement will also form part of your development licence submitted to the appropriate regulatory body (e.g. Countryside Council for Wales, Natural England or Scottish Natural Heritage), which is required to consent your work proposals to commence.
Complete and submit great crested newt licence application
As European Protected Species Licences (EPSL) are required to consent the commencement of the proposed works of your development, failing to complete the EPSL applications correctly, or submitting them late will cause significant setbacks in the timescale of your project.
Acer Ecology can prevent such setbacks by promptly completing and submitting your great crested newt and any other European Protected Species Licence application required.
Provide on-site advice during the construction phase of your development
Upon approval of your great crested newt licence (and other EPSL), it is important you adhere absolutely to the stipulations of the licence. Should the relevant authority (CCW, NE or SNH) carry out an inspection of the licensed activity on your development site and stop works as a result of non-adherence, further delays and expense will be incurred.
To prevent unexpected delays and costs we can provide on-going assistance to help you ensure the terms of the licence are adhered to. This could include giving a protected species briefings to site workers and supervising on-site work.
For more information about great crested newt surveys or any of our other ecological services call us on 029 2065 0331.