Elmbridge Borough Council joins Surrey’s newt conservation coalition NatureSpace
Great crested newts are a declining species in the UK and legally protected.
Developers in seven local planning authorities in Surrey are now offered the ground-breaking District Licence Scheme run by NatureSpace, which provides a quick, simple and certain solution for development while simultaneously delivering vastly improved conservation outcomes for great crested newts.
Great crested newts are a declining species in the UK and legally protected, which causes concern for developers and conservationists alike. NatureSpace’s scheme, legally authorised by Natural England, ensures a sustainable future for newts by creating and managing new habitats across the planning authorities in which it operates using funds provided by developers. For developers and planners, the scheme consolidates both planning and licensing into a single streamlined approach, removing risk and uncertainty which dramatically speeds up the licensing process for all developers, from householders to major infrastructure and commercial development projects.
Since November last year, six areas in Surrey are offering the scheme to developers, including Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, Guildford Borough Council, Mole Valley District Council, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Surrey County Council and Tandridge District Council. With the addition of Elmbridge, NatureSpace District Licensing is now running in nearly 70 planning authorities across the midlands and south of England and covers over 17,390 square kilometres.
NatureSpace CEO, Dr Tom Tew
“It is brilliant to have Elmbridge join the current six partner Local Planning Authorities in Surrey – it’s great news for developers of any size and type,. who are now offered a much quicker, year-round solution for district licensing that provides demonstrable conservation outcomes for great crested newts.”
Elmbridge Borough Councillor Karen Randolph, Portfolio Holder for Planning & Environment Health
“It is great to work with NatureSpace on this scheme, which will ensure that great crested newt habitat is increased and enhanced, enabling this protected species to flourish in Elmbridge. We look forward to continuing this vital conservation work across the borough in the coming years in support of a sustainable Elmbridge. The scheme will also assist developers by expediting planning applications in areas that have been assessed by NatureSpace.”
In collaboration with the Newt Conservation Partnership and supported by the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust and the Freshwater Habitats Trust, scheme has invested over £4.4 million in newt conservation. Since its launch in 2018, the scheme has funded the creation, restoration, and management of over 250 high-quality clean water ponds and more than 780 hectares of wildlife habitat for great crested newts.
More information on NatureSpace.