Great crested newt licences are amongst those about to be subject the charges by Natural England

Great crested newt and badger next in line for Natural England’s wildlife licensing charges

Tuesday, February 4th, 2020

In 2019, Natural England began introducing charges for wildlife licences, with the aim of investing in the improvement of the licensing service for the benefit of developers, the public and wildlife alike.
Last spring saw the charges implemented for bat and dormouse licences, and the next phase is now underway, with charges for great crested newt and badger commencing early this year.


Great crested newt licence charges come into effect next month

From 17th February onwards, charges will come into effect for great crested newt licences. All new applications and modifications will therefore be charged for, with the exception of cases where a licence is issued for a purpose that is exempt from charges (see ‘Exemptions’ section below).

Charges will apply in the following cases:

  • great crested newt European Protected Species Mitigation (EPSM) licence (A14)
  • low impact great crested newt class licence: site registration (CL33)

Great crested newt applications being some of the most challenging licences to process in a timely way, Natural England have therefore expanded their resources and are closely monitoring the delivery, ensuring that clients will be contacted as soon as possible if needed.

What costs can be expected?

Charges for new applications for:

  • Great crested newt (EPSM) licence (A14) – variable.

The typical cost will be between £1000 – £2,500. A few, highly complex, licences will cost more; and some simple licences will cost less.

  • Low impact great crested newt class licence: site registration (CL33) – fixed rate of £130.

Charges for licence modifications for:

  • Great crested newt (EPSM) licence (A14) – variable.

The typical cost will be between £75 – £1,200. A few, highly complex, licences will cost more; and some simple licences will cost less.

  • Low impact great crested newt class licence: site registration (CL33) – variable.

NB: The variable rates are based on an hourly rate of £101 and will depend on the time taken to assess the licence, and therefore on the complexity of the licence.
The typical costs mentioned are only an indication, these will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and are payable to Natural England, who will invoice you directly.

What if you have a GCN licence application in the pipeline?

If you are in the process of preparing to submit a licence application for great crested newt, contact us as soon as possible and we can look into how we may be able to submit your application or how the upcoming charges may affect your project.

Please bear in mind that Natural England will bill you directly, so our experts cannot provide you with an exact cost indication.

What if your project will likely require a GCN licence after 17th February?

Get in touch with our experienced licensed ecologists who can advise you on the types of licence, how they apply and any potential charges to your project.


Badger Licence charges are scheduled for the Spring

Badger on trail cam

Natural England intends to introduce charges for badger licences this spring, ready for the 2020 survey season, when all new applications and modifications will be subject to charges. In certain situations, licences will be exempt from charges (see ‘Exemptions’ section below).

Charges will apply in the following cases:

  • interfere with a badger sett for development (A24)
  • badger class licence: site notification for development or to prevent serious damage (CL35)

Keep an eye out on our channels for updates on exact dates. In the meantime, please do get in touch our with our licensed, experienced ecologists for advice on how any future charges may impact your project and how we can support you with a current application.

What costs can be expected?

Charges for new applications for:

  • interfering with a badger sett for development (A24) – variable.

The typical cost has yet to be defined.

  • badger class licence: site notification for development or to prevent serious damage (CL35) – fixed rate of £160.

Charges for licence modifications for:

  • interfering with a badger sett for development (A24) – variable.

The typical cost has yet to be defined.

  • badger class licence: site notification for development or to prevent serious damage (CL35) – variable.

NB: The variable rates are based on an hourly rate of £101 and will depend on the time taken to assess the licence, and therefore on the complexity of the licence. The typical costs mentioned are only an indication, these will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and are payable to Natural England, who will invoice you directly.

 

Exemptions

It is worth noting that in certain situations licences will be exempt from charges, such as:

  • where the aim is the prevention of serious damage to property;
  • where the aim is the prevention of spread of disease;
  • a conservation project delivery or conservation science;
  • householder development projects.


Existing charges for other Wildlife Licences

  • Hazel Dormouse – Non-complex applications at £690, and complex applications at £101 per hour of assessment time plus a compliance charge (relating to checks for compliance with the licence) of £183.
  • Bats – Non-complex applications – £500. Complex applications – £101 per hour of assessment time plus a compliance charge of £183.
  • Class Licences –  Bats – Site registration – £130.

Find out more on existing charges here.

Contact us for advice

 
Our experienced ecologists based throughout the UK hold the relevant personal licences for protected species including low impact licences. We have also helped many clients in obtaining protected species mitigation licences for their developments.

We also have in-house ecologists who are Registered Consultants on the Bat Mitigation Class Licence scheme and Badger Class Licence, as well as the displacement licence for water vole.

For advice on protected species licences and revised charges please speak to your local office who will be able to advise you on your project.

Contact The Ecology Consultancy's experts

Published 4th February 2020.

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