This guidance document (WML-G24) details, at a high level, the approach Natural England’s wildlife licensing team takes when assessing a EPS mitigation licence applications against the three ‘tests’, as set out in the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (Habitats Regulations).
The guidance note has been developed with four specific objectives in mind:
• to deal with enquiries to the EPS licensing team from local planning authorities (LPAs) asking how they should apply the three Habitat Regulation ‘tests’ to planning applications;
• to assist LPAs and others to understand Natural England’s role and the limits to the advice NE can provide;
• to steer LPAs and others to existing and published guidance; and.,
• to provide clarity to stakeholders and NE staff around the licensing team’s decision making process and the application of proportionality in its decisions.