The core benefits of the scheme for both developers and planning authorities are:
We commit to returning a quote within 3 working days of enquiry and an assessment report within 10 working days. It is still important to plan well-ahead as there can be timing restrictions on developments which will have a high impact on important newt habitat – although most developments coming under the district licensing scheme will face no delays whatsoever. For very high impact developments it is possible for a 6-month pre-payment requirement to be imposed – but compared with the timescales and costs associated with the standard mitigation licensing route (requiring of on- and off-site surveys, mitigation and compensation), the district licensing option provides a considerably shortened timescale.
The licence system is watertight, and you know what the costs will be ahead of applying for planning permission.
The licence fee paid will be used to create new ponds and habitats across the region for newts and other wildlife.
District licensing costs start from as little as £500, with payment caps for all but large-scale major developments in the red (highest risk) zone. Real scheme case studies can be found here to provide some context. In the majority of cases District Licensing offers lower costs than standard mitigation programmes (research has calculated this to be an average of £250,000 per licensed development).
You can download the table of charges here.
The scheme is government endorsed and is fully supported by conservationists and your Local Planning Authority.
The licences can be granted all year around, releasing you from the constraints of spring-only surveys.