At this site, the owner was hoping to demolish the existing old, damp and draughty farm buildings and replace them with a modern dwelling and new stable block. I was commissioned to undertake a Phase 1 habitat survey and habitat suitability assessment for great crested newts, as a bat and bird survey of the buildings had already been commissioned. There was a pond within 40m of the farmyard where the works were due to take place.
You can see from the picture above that the local area has potential for great crested newts, with woodland, tall grassland and well-vegetated ponds, and in fact records were received of great crested newts less than a kilometre from the site. The project is still at the design stage, but my advice was that a great crested newt survey would be needed in spring 2013 to determine whether the project is likely to affect this species. In the meantime, I have advised the client on potential mitigation options in the event that great crested newts are found.