European Protected Species Mitigation (EPSM) Licenses

Impacts from development on any of the UK’s listed protected species of animal or plant (or their habitats), are an offence under EU and UK law, whether these are accidental or deliberate. The penalties include fines and imprisonment.

It is your responsibility to have the likely impact of your project on European Protected Species (EPS) assessed professionally. If surveys and assessments by The Ecology Consultancy find they are likely to be affected, you will need a licence granted by Natural England to provide a derogation to the law.

Most developments requiring an EPSM licence will also be subject to planning consents. The planning position should be fully resolved before a licence application is submitted to Natural England.

Some activities, for example tree felling or archaeological or geological site investigation prior to development, may not require planning permission but can still require an EPSM licence.

Once licensed site investigation work is complete, a new licence application will need to be submitted for any subsequent development works. The licence will last for the duration of the development works plus the post-development monitoring period. If your project is delayed or works take longer than described in the application, an amendment to the licence will need to be obtained from Natural England.

You can download an application form here, contact the Wildlife Licensing Unit on 0845 6014523, or email: wildlife@naturalengland.org.uk.  Please note that supporting documents are required. The Ecology Consultancy would normally assist with the preparation of these documents and submit applications to Natural England on behalf of our client.

Once your application has been received a Natural England Wildlife Adviser will contact you and may arrange to undertake a site visit.

Natural England aim to determine and issue decisions within 30 working days of receipt of a fully completed application pack, and will notify the applicant and The Ecology Consultancy of their decision. The surveys to inform the licence and the preparation of the supporting documents would need to be budgeted for.

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