Natural England New Licensing Policies

Natural England claims to be revolutionising the way it issues licences to provide significant benefits for both wildlife and licence applicants.

There are four new policies that aim to encourage planners and conservationists to think on a wider, landscape scale – channelling investment into bigger, better, more joined-up habitat for wildlife. In short, the changes will mean the application of the law is focused on the measures which are most effective at protecting populations.

The policies aim to provide:

  • Greater flexibility in relocating European Protected Species from development sites;
  • Creation of new habitats away from development sites where it is environmentally most beneficial;
  • Wildlife benefiting from habitat that is found on development sites, such as where quarrying has created ponds suitable for great crested newts; and
  • Flexibility in exceptional circumstances to reduce surveying where the impacts of development can be predicted confidently

Natural England has stated that it will not issue guidance on how to use the new policies; however, it has suggested that it will consider publishing some case studies after the policies have bedded in.

Please follow the links to read the final consultation document  and CIEEM’s original response and brief summary of the consultation.

We are not sure how this will affect survey and licensing requirements at this stage but will post more information as the process develops.