Natural England starts charging for mitigation licences (Mitigation charging)
Recently Natural England (NE) consulted on the possibility of charging for mitigation licences. This is now beginning to be rolled out with Dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius) and bats being the first.
The information below is taken from the Natural England Wildlife Licencing Newsletter. –
When will charging for bat licences start?
Charging for these licences will start on Monday April 22nd 2019. All licence applications submitted on that date or later will be subject to charges on issue of the licence (there are a few exemptions).
Licences issued for certain purposes are exempt from charges. These are as follows:
- householder home improvement projects, such as loft conversions, extensions, garages and conservatories or those not requiring any planning permission, for example under Generally Permitted Development;
- preserving public health and safety;
- preventing serious damage to property;
- preventing the spread of disease;
- science or education;
- nature conservation;
- historic building conservation;
- conserving a bat roost(s) in situ.
How much will my application cost?
A less complex bat EPS mitigation licence will be charged at a fixed price of £500. For a more complex application, there will be a variable charge based on an hourly rate of £101 (to the nearest quarter of an hour), plus a charge of £183 towards the cost of compliance monitoring. The criteria for a complex application are outlined in the section below entitled “Charge Form for Bat Mitigation Licence”. Any additional licence assessment work resulting from a Further Information Request (FIR) will also be charged at the hourly rate.
A bat science and conservation licence used for development purposes will be subject to a variable charge based on an hourly rate of £101 (to the nearest quarter of an hour), plus a charge of £61 towards the cost of compliance monitoring.
The bat mitigation class licence site registration will be charged at a fixed price of £130.
Where charges are based on an hourly rate, the invoiced amount will reflect the total time taken to assess the application. This will include the time taken for the initial and subsequent assessments if a Further Information Request is issued. Modifications to these licences will also be charged for unless they are trivial in nature. VAT does not apply to licence charges.
Where a variable price applies, applicants can also use the Charge Form to request a Price Indication from Natural England. Natural England will provide a Price Indication within 15 working days of the date of the acknowledgement email. The Price Indication will be provided to help budget planning; it will state the price to the nearest day and is non-binding. If the assessment time turns out to be different to the Price Indication, the amount invoiced will be that based on the actual assessment time.
For further information and to discuss your mitigation licence needs feel free to call or email via the contact page.