What are the New Licensing Policies?
In December 2016, Natural England introduced their New Licensing Policies with regards to Protected Species in the UK and we are already seeing these deliver great results for both our clients and our environment.
New Licensing Policy 1 (NLP1) is perhaps the most exciting and progressive of these changes. The wording of the NLP1 is as follows:
“Defra considers that compensation for EPS impacts can be delivered without the need to relocate or exclude populations, where: exclusion or relocation measures are not necessary to maintain the conservation status of the local population; the avoid-mitigate-compensate hierarchy is followed; and compensation provides greater benefits to the local population than would exclusion and/or relocation.”
New Licensing Policy 4 (NLP4) also reduces the burden of un-necessary survey updates, moving away from the prescriptive timeframes which were previously required. The wording of the NLP4 is as follows:
Natural England will be expected to ensure that licensing decisions are properly supported by survey information, taking into account industry standards and guidelines. It may, however, accept a lower than standard survey effort where: the costs or delays associated with carrying out standard survey requirements would be disproportionate to the additional certainty that it would bring; the ecological impacts of development can be predicted with sufficient certainty; and mitigation or compensation will ensure that the licensed activity does not detrimentally affect the conservation status of the local population of any EPS.
How can LSC help?
LSC have worked with one of our key clients to successfully obtain licenses using NLP1 and NLP4 already, with further consultations and licensed schemes in the pipeline.
The big gain we have seen for our clients is the scope to avoid the long delays which can arise through the prescriptive translocation requirements traditionally associated with a great crested newt licence.
The big gain for the environment, is that the funds which would traditionally be used for translocation of individual newts can instead be diverted into real long-term habitat enhancements for the newts and for local biodiversity in general.
LSC have a proven track record with successfully securing the new NLP licences for our clients, and we are expanding our work in this new and exciting field of licensing. If you would like to explore how NLP1 and NLP4 might help get your development moving, whilst providing a real and long-lasting benefit to biodiversity, why not get in touch with LSC to discuss your scheme!
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