Natural England has begun a phased roll out of charges for European protected species licences. The new Wildlife Licensing Service has been introduced to deal with protected species licence submission assessments, returns and renewals, with new charges for licences being introduced for a number of European protected species, commencing in April 2019.
On 23 April 2019 Natural England introduced charging for bat licence applications. Natural England claim that:
“The income from charges will be invested in significantly increased resourcing for the wildlife licensing service, with recruitment of additional staff now well underway. We have also made changes to our processes and are continuing with reforms to the way we handle applications. This should not only allow us to process applications more quickly, but will also enable us to increase levels of compliance through monitoring to ensure that mitigation is being implemented properly, ensuring we secure good outcomes for protected species”.
Changes in Bat Licensing
Charges for bat licences are being introduced in April 2019. All licence applications submitted on or after that date will be subject to charges.
Charges will apply to:
Bat EPS mitigation licence (A13)
Bat science and conservation licence (A34) when used for development and/or filming purposes;
Bat mitigation class licence/site registration (CL21).
New Charges for Bat EPSM Licences (A13)
The complexity of the A13 licence application will determine whether the charge will be fixed or variable (based on an hourly rate). The criteria determining the complexity of an application are detailed in this charge screening form for A13. This form will be completed and submitted alongside the licence application.
A less complex bat EPS mitigation licence (A13) will be charged at a fixed rate of £500.
For a more complex A13 application, there will be a variable charge based on an hourly rate of £101 (to the nearest quarter of an hour), with an additional charge of £183 towards the cost of compliance monitoring.
New charges for bat science and conservation licences (A34)
An A34 licence used for development and filming purposes will be subject to a variable charge based on an hourly rate of £101, with an additional charge of £61 towards the cost of compliance monitoring.
New charges for bat mitigation class licence site registration (CL21)
The bat mitigation class licence site registration (CL21) will be charged at a fixed price of £130.
Our teams of ecologists based across the UK will be able to advise on which category most applications are likely to fall into, we will also assist with the preparation of supporting documents and submit applications to Natural England on your behalf.
Our expert consultants are experienced in putting together clear, concise applications and can help avoid any unnecessary additional fees for extended assessment time.
We very much hope these benefits materialise as the current system is clearly unable to cope, with few licences being issued in a timely fashion and as a result the delivery of many projects is being put at risk. To obtain the costs of an application, a Charge Form must be completed.