Natural England services to be charged for…

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Natural England is in the process of increasing its staff capacity  in order to  become an advisory body to planners.  The service will be paid for by the introduction of “user charges” to developers.  At present the service is limited to developments that may affect SSSIs or AONBs.

Natural England is in the process of increasing its staff capacity  in order to  become an advisory body to planners.  The service will be paid for by the introduction of “user charges” to developers.  At present the service is limited to developments that may affect SSSIs or AONBs.

A pilot was conducted in August last year, to test the service on a small number of cases.  The aim is to screen proposals to assess if a wildlife licence is likely to be needed, and to potentially save developers time and money. Currently a large number of developments involve the need to obtain a licence to disturb protected species such as bats – this can normally only happen once planning permission has been granted, which can cause uncertainty and delay for the developer.

This Discretionary Advice Service was launched towards the end of last year and covers other developments such as off-shore work and Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.

Natural England states that the aim is not to compete with the private sector or to profit from the service and the service does not include responding to statutory consultations or the processing of wildlife licence applications.

Read more.

SSIP Link-up Constructionline Builders Profile