Great crested newts District licensing scheme

Great crested newts must be considered as part of the planning application process. This is because they have protected status under UK and European legislation.

Great crested newts can be present in around 50 per cent of ponds. They depend on ponds for breeding, but spend most of their life on land, relying on woodland, hedgerows, rough grassland and scrub.

If newts are present on an application site, the planning authority must be satisfied that detrimental effects can be:

  • avoided
  • mitigated, or
  • compensated for

These safeguards may be required as conditions of planning permissions and/or by legal agreements.

If you are a developer proposing to develop land, you can pay to join a district level licensing scheme.

Currently, there are two ways to gain a licence in Cherwell. These are by applying directly to Natural England for a licence or by joining the District Licence Scheme authorised by the council.