Natural England has begun a phased roll out of charges for European protected species licences. The new Wildlife Licensing Service has been introduced to deal with protected species licence submission assessments, returns and renewals, with new charges for licences being introduced for a number of European protected species, commencing in April 2019.
This process is being rolled out in multiple stages and began on 1st April with Dormouse mitigation licenses. The next step is bat licences, for which charges will apply as of Monday 22nd April.
Charges for badger licences are provisionally scheduled for May and great crested newt and other species licences charges will be implemented later this year.
Changes in Bat Licensing
Charges for bat licences are being introduced on Monday April 22nd 2019. All licence applications submitted on or after that date will be subject to charges.
Charges will apply to:
- Bat EPS mitigation licence (A13)
- Bat science and conservation licence (A34) when used for development and/or filming purposes;
- Bat mitigation class licence/site registration (CL21).
New Charges for Bat EPSM Licences (A13)
The complexity of the A13 licence application will determine whether the charge will be fixed or variable (based on an hourly rate). The criteria determining the complexity of an application are detailed in this charge screening form for A13. This form will be completed and submitted alongside the licence application.
- A less complex bat EPS mitigation licence (A13) will be charged at a fixed rate of £500.
- For a more complex A13 application, there will be a variable charge based on an hourly rate of £101 (to the nearest quarter of an hour), with an additional charge of £183 towards the cost of compliance monitoring.
New charges for bat science and conservation licences (A34)
An A34 licence used for development and filming purposes will be subject to a variable charge based on an hourly rate of £101, with an additional charge of £61 towards the cost of compliance monitoring.
New charges for bat mitigation class licence site registration (CL21)
The bat mitigation class licence site registration (CL21) will be charged at a fixed price of £130.
Our teams of ecologists based across the UK will be able to advise on which category most applications are likely to fall into, we will also assist with the preparation of supporting documents and submit applications to Natural England on your behalf.
Our expert consultants are experienced in putting together clear, concise applications and can help avoid any unnecessary additional fees for extended assessment time.
What do I need consider for my project?
If you have a bat licence application in the pipeline
If you are currently preparing to submit a licence application, get in touch with us as soon as possible and we can advise you on how we may be able to submit your application or about the potential impact of the upcoming charges on your project.
Applications (including resubmissions and modifications) received before 22nd April will not be charged for, even if the assessment has not been completed.
If your project will likely require a bat licence after 22nd April
Get in touch with our experienced licenced bat ecologists who can advise you on the types of license, how they apply and any potential charges to your project.
Changes in licence charges for other protected species
- Hazel Dormouse, 1st April 2019 – 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, 22nd April 2019 – Non-complex applications – £500. Complex applications – £101 per hour of assessment time plus a compliance charge of £183.
- Class Licences, 22nd April 2019 – Bats – Site registration – £130.
Proposed Future Changes
Natural England has also proposed the following changes to licenses for these protected species:
- Badger, May 2019 – Non-complex applications – £260. Complex applications – £101 per hour of assessment plus a £61 compliance charge.
- Class Licences, TBC – Badger – Site registration – £160.
Certain licences and site registrations will be exempt from these charges in the following cases:
- householder home improvement projects, such as loft conversions, extensions, garages and conservatories or those not requiring any planning permission, for example under Generally Permitted Development;
- preserving public health and safety;
- preventing serious damage to property;
- preventing the spread of disease;
- science or education;
- nature conservation;
- historic building conservation;
- conserving a bat roost(s) in situ
Contact us for advice
Our experienced ecologists are based throughout the UK and hold mitigation licences for numerous protected species. We also have in-house ecologists who are Registered Consultants on the Bat Mitigation Class Licence scheme and Badger Class Licence, as well as displacement licences 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.