Newts and toads: licences for development

Development works that might affect great crested newts and natterjack toads must be licensed to proceed legally.

NatureScot is responsible for issuing licences to permit development that might affect these European protected species. You should apply to us for a licence if your work could otherwise result in an offence in relation to great crested newts and natterjack toads.

A licence can only be granted if you can meet the three strict European protected species licensing tests.

How to apply

A protected species licence application for development projects should not be made until the necessary planning permissions and consents are in place.  This should be considered when signing the relevant licence application declaration.

Fill in the relevant application form and email it to [email protected]

Download the Licence application form – works affecting great crested newts

Download the Licence application form – works affecting natterjack toads

Read the Guidance notes for application for a licence for European protected species

Read the Guidance notes on providing supporting information for a licence for European protected species

Survey and mitigation

We strongly recommend that a suitably experienced person conducts an amphibian survey if newts or toads are likely to be present on or near a development site. For example, newts or toads may use a pond on land where a wind farm is proposed.

Planning authorities must consider the same strict tests as the licensing authority when considering any planning application that might affect newts and toads. A survey carried out in line with best practice and at an early stage can help to avoid unnecessary delays to licence and planning applications.

A species protection plan should be drawn up if newts or toads, or their places of shelter, are found on or near a development site.

Licence returns

A condition of any licence is that you must submit a licence return to us.

You should submit your return information using our licence return form for works affecting great crested newts and natterjack toads. Email us your completed form, giving your name and licence number in the subject line.

Licence changes and renewals

You should get in touch if you wish to amend a licence. But check your licence conditions first: you may be able to appoint agents and assistants without having to get them named on your licence.

Find out about adding persons to a licence.

You must also remember to contact us to renew your licence. Licences aren’t renewed automatically.


If you already have a licence number, include it in the subject line of your email, or have it to hand when you call.

Licensing Team
Telephone: 01463 725 364
Email: [email protected]

Find out more

Data Protection notice

Planning and development: protected animals

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