Great crested newt district licence scheme

Great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) are present in around 32% ponds in the South Midlands region (higher than the national average).

Ponds are critical to great crested newts for breeding, but they are also dependent on other habitats. They spend most of their life on land in habitats such as woodland, hedgerows, rough grassland and scrub, travelling up to 500 meters between ponds.

As such, if a proposed development is within 500 meters of a pond, great crested newts could be a planning consideration. Ponds are shown on our online maps drawn by Ordnance Survey, and a development will be deemed as being within 500m of a pond if a pond is contained within a 500m buffer drawn around the development’s red line boundary (ie the development would be within 500m straight line distance of a pond).

To determine whether great crested newts will be a planning consideration, Natural England’s Standing Advice should be consulted.

Due to great crested newts’ protected status, we must be satisfied that any detrimental effects can be either avoided, mitigated or compensated. If impacts on great crested newts from the development are assessed as being likely then to satisfy this requirement you will need to obtain a licence, by either:

Both routes will still need to have a preliminary ecological appraisal prepared by a suitably qualified ecologist to be submitted with the planning application.