Great crested newts are protected under UK and European law. This legislation protects the animals themselves as well as their places of shelter, which includes terrestrial habitats as well as breeding ponds.
A great crested newt survey is likely to be required if there is a pond or other freshwater body within 500m of the development site. The first step is to undertake a great crested newt Habitat Suitability Index to determine whether the ponds are likely to support great crested newts. A Habitat Suitability Index can be undertaken at any time of the year. If the pond is considered suitable for great crested newts, then a presence/ absence survey should be undertaken. This will require four surveys of the pond between March and mid-June. If great crested newts are recorded during these surveys, then a further two surveys will be required to estimate the size of the population.
If great crested newts or their habitats will be adversely impacted by the proposed scheme, then a Natural England licence will be required to cover the works. Licences can only be issued after planning permission has been granted.