The Great Crested Newt (GCN) is a species protected by law due to an increasing loss of suitable habitats in recent years.
agb Environmental urge anyone who is purchasing land or applying for planning permission to conduct a GCN survey by a Natural England licenced surveyor as soon as possible to avoid lengthy delays as a result of strict survey seasons. GCN surveys are normally required if there is a pond or ditch within 500m of the site boundary.
To be accepted by the Local Planning Authority (LPA), half of the required site visits must be carried out between mid-April to mid-May, so now is the time to act.
Dr Odette Robson, Principal Ecologist and fully licenced GCN surveyor at agb Environmental, says: “Timing is critical for GCN surveys, and with the unseasonably warm weather and early spring this year, there can be no excuse for late surveys!
“LPAs reject surveys not carried out within the correct survey season and are required to see full GCN survey results within the application pack. A Phase 1 Ecology survey which recommends further GCN surveys is not sufficient on its own.”
Managing Director, Alex Brearley, notes that: “Most planning authorities will not even register an application until a full survey had been carried out.
“This has caught out many developers, and can result in project delays of up to a year.”
Although GCN breed in ponds, the majority of their life is spent on land, making many areas of uncultivated land the perfect home for these protected species.
With the turn of the season now approaching, your GCN survey must be completed.
Agb Environmental can also assist with bat surveys, reptile surveys, nesting bird surveys and Phase 1 Extended Habitat surveys. Our licenced and experienced staff ensure that we can see the project through from initial assessment right through to mitigation and sign off.
For advice relating to a particular site you may be concerned about, contact Alex Brearley at agb Environmental on 01638 663226 or email email@example.com.