Biodiversity

Wildlife Mitigation Licensing

How To Get a Mitigation Licence

You may have bats or other protected species such as dormice recorded on your site, and if your plans could disturb these protected species you will most likely require a licence from the relevant authority to allow you to proceed lawfully (in England this is Natural England). You can get an unlimited fine and up to 6 months in prison if you do not have a licence when carrying out an activity that needs one.

You will need an ecologist who is licensed to deal with the specified species – bats, dormice, etc, to prepare the documentation and evidence.

Applying for a mitigation licence is complex and is a separate licensing process to a planning application.

Do I need a licence?

If you are doing any activity that affects a protected species, you must apply for an individual project  licence.  Activities might include disturbing protected species because of a building development or maintaining a watercourse or pond.

Wildlife that requires a mitigation licence

These are the main types of mitigation licences:

  • Hazel Dormice Mitigation Licence
  • Great Crested Newt Mitigation Licence
  • Smooth Snake and Sand Lizard Mitigation Licence
  • Bat Mitigation Licence
  • Bat Class Licence to allow low impact work on bat roosts
  • Badger Licence to interfere with a badger sett
  • Water Vole Licence to displace them for development projects or work on watercourses.

A Marine Management Organisation (MMO) licence will be required for works affecting protected marine habitats and species, such as dolphins, sturgeon or species of turtle.

What do you need to prepare a licence?

Applying for a licence requires the details of your planning application, your detailed construction methods and programme, accurate surveys and assessments of the species affected, and detailed mitigation and protection measures to ensure works proceed without determent to the protected species.

  • In some circumstances it is necessary to have several seasons of survey data
  • Your application must include a method statement to show how you will reduce the impacts of the proposed work on the affected species
  • It must also include a reasoned statement to demonstrate that the activity fits the criteria and that there is no satisfactory alternative
  • You must also provide references to show that the ecological consultant has the necessary experience to apply for a mitigation licence.

When to submit your licence

Your planning application will need to be consented before you can apply for a mitigation licence.

How long does determination of a licence take?

The licensing authority will normally decide whether to issue a licence within 30 days of an application, however, while Covid-related safety precautions are in place, the timescales are much longer and may take 2-3 months.

What happens when you have your licence?

Gaining your licence isn’t the end of the road – you’ll need to adhere to the conditions of your licence throughout the work and may be required to report annually to the licensing authority.

It’s wise to continue working with your specialist ecologist to ensure you’re adhering to all the necessary conditions at the time of the work and beyond.


If you need a mitigation licence or if you think you may be working in an area with protected species, contact Engain on 01225 459564 or email enquiries@engain.com to discuss how to prepare, submit and adhere to the conditions of the licence.

Get in touch

To discuss your project requirements, please contact our experienced team