Planning considerations about biodiversity and wildlife

Derogation tests

In some circumstances you can 'derogate' from the protection of the EU Habitats Directive.  A license may be granted by Natural England if three strict tests are met:

  • the activity to be licensed must be for imperative reasons of overriding public interest or for public health and safety

  • there must be no satisfactory alternative

  • favourable conservation status of the species must be maintained

We have a statutory duty to regard to these requirements and give due weight to the presence of an EPS on a development site as part of any planning, listed building, advertisement or estate management consent application.

If a planning application for a development could affect an EPS we will consider whether an offence to an EPS is likely to be committed by the development proposal.