Natural England have updated their European Protected Species licence forms, reducing some of the paperwork burdens on applicants.
New application form for bats
There is a new EPSL application form, which we think makes a lot more sense. We are not sure if it is editable in all versions of Adobe Reader, but you can certainly use Foxit. There are seperate forms for <3 species and >3 species, with a lot of tick boxes replacing the need to repeat text in and squeeze stuff up. It should make it more accessible for clients and easier to complete, plus indicates that NE may be streaming licences into low and high impact schemes, which makes a lot of sense.
Applications for home improvements and small scale housing developments
The guidance on the need for a Reasoned Statement has changed, making it only necessary for more complicated applications. This doesn’t imply that you don’t need a licence – simply that the paperwork is becoming more proportional to the situation. You need to read the details, but this means no more 20 page documents justifying a loft conversion or putting in a dormer window from NPPF. It also may reduce the paperwork burden on barn conversions under Permitted Development rights.
The exemptions are below.
Exemptions for Bats
“The following categories of work for all bat species and their roosts*:
i. repairs and maintenance, roof replacements, loft conversions, extensions and renovations of existing domestic dwellings and associated structures (eg garages).
ii. small-scale housing developments, including those that may require the demolition of existing buildings (whether domestic dwellings or other types of building).
*Unless the population is of regional or national importance – in which case please contact Natural England (see below) to discuss whether a Reasoned Statement is required.”
Exemptions for Great crested newts
“The following categories of works:
i. repairs and maintenance, extensions and renovations of existing domestic dwellings and associated structures (e.g. garages).
ii. small-scale housing developments within the curtilage of developed or previously developed (brownfield) sites, including those that may require the demolition of existing buildings (whether domestic dwellings or other types of building).”
There are also similar improvements around applications to conserve and protect Listed Buildings, Scheduled Monuments and places of worship.
You will need to read the fine print to see if this applies to you or contact us for advice.
A very sensible development from Natural England.
The document from Natural England is attached below :