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Today's story - New take on newts

February 1, 2020 8:30 PM
By Wiltshire Lib Dems
Originally published by Trevor Carbin Liberal Democrat

Great crested newts ()are protected by law, so when building takes place in newty areas the developers have to provide and manage bits of land where the amphibians can survive. Planning permissions include conditions to ensure that happens.

In practice the suspicion is that once planning is granted, the measures to protect the newts are not carried out particularly enthusiastically and the habitats decline.

So Wiltshire Council wants to make life easier for developers by adopting a Natural England scheme called District Level Licensing (DLL).

DLL would see WC providing ponds on its own land around the county where newts could live. Developers would simply have to slip a few quid to NE or WC to finance the process. It's claimed that this would be good for the newts as well as the developers as it would give the slimy creatures somewhere wet and boggy to live (that's the newts not the developers) whilst ending the pretence that newts can continue to exist alongside human-infested housing developments.

The proposal to join the scheme goes to the WC 'cabinet' on Tuesday.

Agenda item 11