Construction conservation changes to end costly development delays

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New measures put in place relating to the conservation of great crested newts should reduce the number of costly delays for developers

A new approach to the conservation of the protection of great crested newts could save developers from costly delays. The species, which is currently protected, has been found at a number of housing development sites.

Pilot scheme

In a bid to overcome the challenges while protecting the newts Natural England alongside Woking Borough Council in Surrey worked on a pilot scheme.

This involved the council examining the impact of development on newts at the same time as considering the planning permission, removing the need for surveys to be carried out prior to building works.

This method of working is now to be rolled out across the country.

Potential impacts of development

Areas where the newts are thought to be most prevalent will be surveyed under a new three-year programme, taking into account the potential impact of development on these sites. Money and time will be saved by ensuring their habitats are enhanced or created before development commences.

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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