Great Crested Newts
All District, City and Borough Planning Authorities in Gloucestershire, including Stroud District, have launched Great Crested Newt District Licensing scheme. This provides a new option for developers to use where planning applications might have an impact on Great Crested Newts. The NatureSpace scheme, approved and licenced by Natural England, removes risk and uncertainty for developers, and dramatically speeds up the licensing process. It also ensures a sustainable future for great crested newts by creating new habitats across the whole region.
Using this licence the Stroud District Council will be able to simultaneously determine planning applications and safeguard local newt populations. The scheme was trialled in seven Local Planning Authority areas across the South Midlands and has been running successfully for 18 months, with 150 enquiries and over 40 licences granted to date. This avoids delays and provides better and more certain outcomes for Great Crested Newts.
The new areas covered by the scheme include Cherwell District Council, Cotswold District Council, Cheltenham Borough Council, Forest of Dean District Council, Gloucester City Council, South Northamptonshire Council, Tewkesbury Borough Council, Stroud District Council and West Oxfordshire District Council. This is all possible because the Council has joined up to an extended South Midlands scheme where it is being assisted by a specialist company called Nature Space and a Newt Conservation Partnership.
In partnership with the South Midlands Newt Conservation Partnership and supported by the main conservation National Government Organisations (NGOs), the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust and the Freshwater Habitats Trust, the scheme creates at least four new ponds for every pond lost with associated terrestrial habitat as part of a landscape-scale and long-term conservation strategy.
More information on the South Midlands Scheme and what it can do for developers and great crested newts can also be found on Nature Space’s website.