Chair of Natural England, Tony Juniper, visited Kent’s District Level Licensing scheme on 25th June 2019.
District Level Licensing is a new approach to the conservation of newts developed by Natural England. Barratt Homes’ Chilmington Green Development is the first development in Kent to join the scheme – an important milestone for the project.
Once complete, Chilmington Green will include over 5,500 new homes, four primary schools, land for community and leisure use, open green space, local recycling facilities, and associated utilities and infrastructure. Natural England has worked closely with developer Barratt Homes to bring part of this development into the District Level Licensing scheme.
Payment into the scheme by Barratt Homes has funded six new ponds. These have been placed with a view to joining up and expanding existing great crested newt habitat with a view to improving conditions for the population.
Under District Level Licensing, survey work and habitat creation is carried out in advance of development with the aim of allowing the developer to start work sooner than would be possible with site-specific mitigation works.
District Level Licensing is now available across twenty-three Local Planning Authorities, and over the next twelve months will be expanded to reach the goal of rolling out the scheme to more than 150 Local Planning Authorities by 2020.
Here at JPR we will be interested to see how the ponds in Kent are managed in the long-term and whether the monitoring of the species shows that the aim of improving the conditions for great crested newts is achieved by this new approach.
You can read more about District Level Licensing in Kent here.