In a recent announcement Natural England have stated that, as of the 1st April, charges will be introduced for dormouse mitigation licences. The charges will not apply for all applications and will be dependent upon the scope and complexity of the project. For example, small home improvement projects and licences applied for in the interest of preserving public health and safety, preventing the spread of disease and damage to property will all remain without charge.
All applicants will be required to complete a ‘charge form’ along with their application which can be used to request a best estimate of the final cost of the licence, prior to the licence application being processed. Less complex applications, such as those for single phase and single site developments, housing developments of less than 9 houses, and for transport projects which propose removing less than 1ha hectare of dormouse habitat are all likely to be subject to a standard charge of £690 / application.
For projects of a larger scale, dormouse mitigation licences are likely to cost more and will be calculated on a case-by-case basis, charged at a rate of £101 an hour for NE staff time, with an additional £183 charge per application which will go towards the cost of compliance. Normal licence processing times will still apply, taking approximately 30 days to complete. Once the application has been issued the charge will be finalised and invoiced within 10 days.
Surveys to confirm the presence / absence of dormice can be undertaken between April and November and typically require a number of nest-tube / box surveys spread out across this period to meet current survey guidelines. CSA have Natural England dormouse surveyors within all our ecology teams, providing expert survey and EPS licensing advice. Now is a good time to contact us about your project to consider survey requirements for the 2019 season.