New scheme will improve newt conservation through robust developer charges
Release date: 24 May 2019
Cotswold District Council has joined a new scheme that will deliver tangible landscape-scale conservation benefits for great crested newts, facilitate better compliance with related planning policy, and save time and money for developers.
The new arrangements are based on a District (or Organisational) Licence to be issued by Natural England to each of the local planning authorities in an extension to the “South Midlands” pilot area, which includes all the Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) in Gloucestershire. The licence allows the LPA to determine planning applications and authorise works in relation to great crested newts simultaneously, and is based on a regional landscape-scale conservation strategy for the species. The aim is to provide new aquatic and terrestrial habitats in locations where there will be the most chance of success in bolstering and re-connecting existing populations.
Training seminars will be taking place during the summer/early autumn for planning officers, ecologists, planning consultants, developers and Planning Committee members.
CDC Cabinet Member for Development Management, Landscape and Heritage, Cllr Clive Webster, welcomes this initiative,
"We are confident that this is a financially and environmentally sustainable long-term strategy to protect great crested newts. The scheme takes the delivery of habitat creation and species protection out of the hands of developers and gives those tasks to conservationists. The robust charging schedule for developers also streamlines the planning process so applications can be dealt with more efficiently."
More information will be made available on the CDC website before the scheme is launched. In the meantime, to find out more please visit the Nature Space website.