District level licensing for great crested newts

If you are a developer proposing to develop land where your work will disturb or damage great crested newt (GCN) habitat (ponds and land around ponds) you must apply for a mitigation licence to prevent any illegal actions to this protected species.

There are now a few different ways to apply for a licence from Natural England to enable development or other work that may affect GCN:

  • District level licensing: Many places now have a District Level Licensing (DLL) scheme which is a quicker and simpler option to applying for a GCN mitigation licence.
  • GCN mitigation licence: Apply for a traditional GCN mitigation licence.
  • A Low Impact Class licence: This scheme only applies where impacts to GCN and their habitat are considered to be small scale. This is implemented through a consultant ecologist who is registered for the scheme.

Benefits of DLL

  • Better conserves GCN
  • Is simple to use
  • Offers developers certainty in terms of costs and timescales
  • Means developments that have been through planning will not be held up by protracted post-planning licensing
  • Results in lots of high value, secure ponds for newts which are managed and monitored for the long term

Cost to join the DLL scheme

Natural England explain the breakdown of fees and further information on how to join the scheme.

More information