This new low impact class licence (LICL) is part of Natural England’s on-going regulatory improvement work and provides a new way of licensing low and temporary impact works affecting great crested newts (GCNs).
Natural England has introduced the new licence to help them more quickly determine applications that meet the criteria of 'low impact'; benefitting developers by reducing paper work and costs, and ensuring that necessary activities are licensed, whilst safeguarding GCN populations.
The new licence will not affect the planning application process and unfortunately the existing situation where Natural England cannot issue licences before planning permission is granted remains.
Developers and Local Planning Authorities should also note that is not appropriate to attach planning conditions to planning permissions that relate to the species licensing process.
The GCN LICL can only be used by Registered Consultants (RCs) who have demonstrated that they meet certain criteria required to operate under the licence. The developer is the named Licensee, but is required to use the services of an RC, who will apply to register the site in question under the GCN LICL.
Calumma Ecological Servcices' Dr. Lee Brady is a Great Crested Newt Registered Consultant.