Where a European Protected Species (EPS) such as bats or great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) would be impacted by a development, it may be possible to obtain a licence from the relevent statutory body Natural England (NE), Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) or Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). A licence enables derogation from the strict legislation protecting an EPS, and allows an otherwise unlawful act to proceed.
In order for the relevent statutory body to grant an EPS licence three strict legal tests have to be met which are as follows:
- Preserving public health or public safety, or other imperative reasons of overriding public interest including those of a social or economic nature and beneficial consequences of primary importance for the environment;
- There is no satisfactory alternative; and
- That the action authorised will not be detrimental to the maintenance of the population of the species concerned at a favourable conservation status in their natural range
EPS licence applications require very detailed information and can become a protracted process, especially on more complex sites. The application must be based on recent survey data, and include an impact assessment as well as details on proposed mitigation. Consequently, a suitably experienced ecological consultant is required to complete these elements of the application. Five Valleys Ecology is able to undertake EPS licence application on behalf of out clients, and make the whole process as efficient as possible.