Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. Post-15 BAP. Updated to 2023




GCN -District Level Licensing

Great Crested Newt Protection and Licences.

Land owners or developers proposing to undertake any work on or around sites where Great Crested Newts are likely to be found must apply for a licence from Natural England and undertake any necessary mitigation to avoid disturbing or damaging this strictly protected species and indeed its habitat.

There is still the traditional application for a GCN mitigation licence to do work that may affect Great Crested Newts and undertake the necessary mitigation.

Barnsley borough is covered by a District Level Licensing Scheme (DLL) run by Natural England which is a quicker and simpler option to applying for a GCN mitigation licence and is designed to provide greater benefit for Great Created Newt populations overall.

More information on
District Level Licensing

Natural England

DLL Framework

Account of inroduction of DLL


DLL Pond creation

Fully funded ponds

Another round of funding

How to apply for a traditional GCN mitigation licence

What you must do to avoid harming Great Crested Newts and when you’ll need a licence to avoid breaking the law.

How to apply for a licence under District Level Licensing

The District Level Licensing Scheme is to be funded by these contributions and Natural England has pump-primed the creation using MHCLG funding.

The District Level Licensing Scheme identifies:

Where ponds would be lost on a development site, the District Level Licensing Scheme funds and organises their replacement.

It targets places for the creation of ponds and habitat improvement in suitable areas for GCN populations to thrive. In South Yorkshire this is undertaken by Wildscapes Community Interest Company.

The replacement of any pond which may be lost is at at a ratio of at least 1 to 1 and the replacement of ponds occupied by GCN lost to development is at a ratio of at least 4 to 1. All these ponds are maintained and monitored for 25 years under the terms of the DLL.

This safeguards the conservation status of GCN in the wider area and also represents a significant streamlining of the GCN licensing element of the development consent process. In addition it should benefit other amphibians including Common Toad.

District licensing of development affecting Great Crested Newts involves consideration of the conservation of GCN at a district level rather than the development site in question

Developers can choose to make a financial contribution towards the scheme instead of applying for a separate licence, carrying out detailed surveys of their own, and undertaking the necessary mitigation.

- Infographic for DLL scheme provided by Natural England [Click on image]

Natural England Infographic