Protected species are a material consideration in the planning process. Information about the presence of protected species will be required before an application can be determined (surveys cannot be conditioned as part of a planning consent).
You can view and search for more information on ecology and biodiversity within the District by visiting the Cambridge & Peterborough Environmental Records Centre.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide any necessary surveys or ecological assessments and these should be undertaken by a suitably qualified expert. It is important to remember that some surveys can only be carried out at specific times of the year. You can check the guide below for the optimal survey times.
More information on the requirements for planning applications is available in the GOV.uk: Standing Advice for Protected Species
Protected habitats should also be given consideration when proposing new development. Cambridgeshire County Council has produced a Biodiversity Checklist (pdf) and Biodiversity Guidance Notes (pdf) which provides more information on habitats for developers.
Developers will be expected to demonstrate how their proposal, small or large, has considered nature conservation and biodiversity and wherever possible we would expect to see existing features retained and opportunities for new features to be created.
Cambridgeshire District Level Licensing - Great Crested Newts
District Level Licensing is now available in East Cambridgeshire and additional information can be found on the GOV.UK website
There are now a few different ways to apply for a licence from Natural England to do development or other work that may affect great crested newts:
- Great Crested Newts: district level licensing Cambridgeshire has a district level licensing scheme, a quicker and simpler option to applying for a GCN mitigation licence. Find out more below.
- Or via an ecologist who is a registered consultant under our low-impact class licence scheme.
Benefits of district level licensing
In a nutshell district level licensing:
- Better conserves great crested newts
- 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
Natural England have put together this note to explain the breakdown of fees and how they calculate the cose to join the scheme, together with some examples.
In autumn 2019, Natural England ran a series of webinars with the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) to provide more information on district level licensing:
- District Level Licensing: How the NE-led scheme works – scheme overview
- District Level Licensing: eDNA Survey and Data Collection – evidence base #1
- District Level Licensing: Species Distribution Modelling – evidence base #2
- District Level Licensing: Habitat Delivery for the NE-led scheme
- District Level Licensing: How to apply – does what it says!
Data open to all
As part of the district level licensing project, Natural England completed the largest ever survey of its type for great crested newts across England, funded by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). The data is open and has been published to ArcGIS Online and is available at Data.gov.uk. Read their gov.uk blog to find out more.