HORRIBLE NEWT

ECOLOGISTS WARN OF TEN-WEEK WINDOW TO SURVEY FOR NEWT PRESENCE TO AVOID DEVELOPMENT DELAYS

With the newt survey season set to start, ecologists at Harris Lamb are working with developers to avoid costly delays to planning applications by providing advice on great-crested newts.

Commercial and residential developers intending to submit planning applications this year are being advised to check their sites for proximity to ponds before April and seek ecology surveys; rather than experience delays to their proposals.

Surveying for newt presence

Rob Harrison, of the consultancy’s Environment Department, said: “If there are ponds within 500 metres of a site boundary, there’s a possibility that great-crested newt surveys will need to be undertaken and submitted alongside a planning application.

“The annual core survey window is limited to April and May, giving applicants around 10 weeks to request and implement such survey. The alternative is to miss the opportunity for another year.

A Great Crested Newt

“While the presence of great-crested newts can delay a development, failure to carry out the necessary ecology surveys within the permitted timescales can be a costly impediment to developers who have a clear schedule of works and completion dates, as development can be halted until the appropriate checks can be made,” he added.

Harris Lamb’s team of licensed newt ecologists is currently providing a complementary service for clients, whereby it will review sites and identify ecology survey-timing requirements ahead of applications being made and works being commenced.

For advice, contact Rob at rob.harrison@harrislamb.com