No more newts holding up new housing construction

Grant Prior 6 years ago
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A new approach to the conservation of great crested newts should spell the end to costly delays to new housing sites.

Natural England has been piloting the new approach with Woking borough council in Surrey and it will now be rolled-out across the country.

The discovery of the protected species has held-up a number of housing sites.

The new three-year programme will survey areas where newts are most prevalent and map the potential impacts on development.

Their habitats will be enhanced or created prior to any development taking place – saving developers time and money.

Woking borough council has been looking at the impact on newts at the same time as planning permission, removing the need for expensive surveys prior to building works and individual licences to disturb newts if they are present.

Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell said: “We are taking decisive action to support developers to build out more quickly so that we can deliver the homes this country needs.

“This new approach to managing great crested newts will not only ensure the continued protection of this rare species and its habitat, but will safeguard developers from the delays, costs and uncertainty which have so often restricted the job of building new homes.”

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