Great Crested Newts – a protected species

Quite rightly, there are many constraints surrounding the natural habitats of the wildlife living in our region and a growing list of protected species including: newts, voles and bats means that property developers must be aware of the issues, regulations, potential costs and solutions associated when planning a new development or refurbishment to ensure nature is not disturbed or harmed.

Great Crested Newts are reported to have been around for approximately 40 million years and these animals, their eggs, breeding sites and resting places are protected by European Law.

Eznat has been working on a site in East Yorkshire with a client where newts are suspected to be present. Consequently, we have had to employ the services of an independent ecologist who has prepared a method statement, ensuring sufficient protection for Great Crested Newts during the construction process.

Cause to break the law would include: capturing, killing or disturbing great crested newts, damaging or destroying their habitat, obstructing access, moving live or dead newts and taking or damaging their eggs. Carrying out any of these whether knowingly or by accident would be an offence, carrying an unlimited fine and up to six months in prison.

Ecological matters can cause severe delays to projects and in some cases bring plans to an end when developing, buying, selling or altering a property, so it is wise to seek advice early.

As chartered architects and project managers, we are able to work with ecologists and the local authority to adjust plans to avoid undue disturbance should the presence of Great Crested Newts be suspected on development land. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01482 778050 or email us at joe.bvumburai@eznat.co.uk

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