Natural England Licence consultation

What was the review for?

Natural England consulted on a proposal to charge for Wildlife Licences on Defra’s behalf between December 2017 and February 2018. They asked respondents their views on their proposal to introduce charges for processing licences, both mitigation and class licences.

Natural England have now published their response. You can read the consultation analysis and response HERE.

Currently Natural England do not charge to process a licence application. The aim of the new charges is to:
– improve the licensing service by enabling investment to match demand and
– change the service funding from wholly taxpayer-funded to a mixture of taxpayer and service-user funding in line with Treasury and Cabinet Office principles for the funding of regulatory activity.

What are NE proposing to charge?

Charges for licences, along with details of the exemptions, are outlined in Annex 2 on Page 21.

These include:

  • New Class Licence registration (bats, GCN, dormice) £80 charge and £35 to renew online
  • Non-complex bat mitigation licence application: £500
  • Non-complex GCN mitigation licence application: £700
  • Non-complex dormouse mitigation licence application: £690

There are higher charges for larger, more complex sites.

It should be noted that householder applications are exempt from charge. This includes extensions and conversions in houses where bats are present. See the Natural England document for full details.

When will these charges be implemented?

Natural England may start charging in the autumn of 2018 for mitigation licences. Acorn Ecology will keep all clients updated and informed of any news regarding these charges.

Currently mitigation licence applications take 30-60 working days to process, often at the top of this range or above. It is hoped that the charges would result in a quicker service and a faster turnaround for licences from Natural England.

If you need to speak to an ecologist about your site please get in touch with your nearest branch or email

The best choice for your wildlife surveys

Exeter: 01392 366512

Bristol: Tel: 0117 923 2768 / Mobile: 07971 994324

Guildford: Tel: 01483 382821 / Mobile: 07443 652988

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