Great Crested Newt Low Impact Class Licence speeds expansion plans for Wagtail Storage

Project Outline

Wagtail Storage is a secure and immaculately maintained storage facility set amongst beautiful countryside just one mile away from East Midlands Airport and near Langley Priory, a former Benedictine nunnery. It offers both domestic and storage facilities using refurbished shipping containers.

Based on Gelscoe Lane in Diseworth, Leicestershire, the company wanted to expand by creating a brand new container storage facility. It had identified nearby land that was currently classed as low yielding arable farmland and would be suitable for development as part of a farm diversification scheme.

Wagtail Storage approached RammSanderson for advice and assistance to obtain planning consent.

RammSanderson Approach

RammSanderson carried out an ecological appraisal which included a detailed survey to discover if Great Crested Newts were present in or around a pond that was part of the area being considered for development.

Great Crested Newts were identified within 20m of the proposed site meaning that without taking mitigating actions to protect them, construction of the new storage yard would result in a breach of UK and EU Wildlife legislation.

Solution

RammSanderson Director, Nick Sanderson holds personal Registered Consultant Status and is therefore licenced to issue a Low Impact Class Licence on a site specific basis on condition that suitable mitigating steps are implemented on a site.

As well as issuing the Low Impact Class Licence we also provided legal advice to submit with planning and this enabled our client to get onto site within 10 working days of planning approval.

Our advice and registered status helped to avoid the need for costly and timely trapping and translocation of the newts which can involve use of extensive plastic temporary barrier fence.

In this situation, as the construction works were short term and would take place within the arable field only, a safe system of works was implemented under the site licence.

This included site supervision and hand removal of any Great Crested Newts from the construction area to land nearby that was equally suited to their natural habitat needs.

The need to use Amphibian Fencing and pitfall trap /exclusion methods was successfully avoided as a technique under the revised DERFA 2016 licence policies which provide a more pragmatic approach for both Low Impact and Traditional Licences.

This approach saved our client significant time and cost which  Wagtail Storage used to fund additional conservation gain by incorporating new hedgerows, wildflower field margins and amphibian refuge zones.

Low Impact Class Licence are available for Bats, GCN and Badgers and allow a registered consultant, to obtain a site licence within 10 working days of licence submission. These uses of low impact licences offer significant time saving benefits but aren’t always applicable, particularly on larger schemes. They are subject to the works being short term (up to 12 months) and only where the impacts on the GCN community are considered to be low. The survey requirements of the Great Crested Newt low impact license are also significantly reduced, which further add to benefit of this approach.

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  • Tags: #FarmDiversification, #GreatCrestedNewt, #LowImpactClassLicence