Great Crested Newts licence

We hold a district licence for great crested newts.

Great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) are present in around 32% of ponds in the South Midlands - they, and their habitats, are protected by law.


Ponds are critical for breeding and great crested newts travel up to 500 metres between ponds.

They are also dependent on other habitats including:

  • woodland
  • hedgerows
  • rough grassland
  • scrub


If a proposed development is within 500 meters of a pond, great crested newts could be a planning consideration.

Draw a 500m buffer around the development's red line boundary to identify impacted ponds (as any ponds in the buffer are within a 500m straight line distance of the development). 

Check Natural England’s advice to see if great crested newts will be a planning consideration. 

We must be satisfied that any detrimental effects can be avoided, mitigated or compensated for. 

If impacts on great crested newts from the development are assessed as being likely, you will need to carry out a survey and apply for a licence.


Surveys need to be carried out between mid-March and mid-June to confirm if great crested newts are present. A population size class assessment may also be needed.

If present

Details of surveys, mitigation and compensation need to be submitted and agreed with us as part of your planning application. 

If absent

If they are absent and then discovered during construction, you must stop work. You then need to get further competent ecological advice.


You can apply for a licence by either:

Last updated 12 June 2024