Great crested newts are the largest native newt species distributed throughout Britain and can grow up to 17cm in length, with usually dark brown or black with a warty or bumpy appearance. Great crested newts can travel large distances between breeding ponds and their resting places, consider to be supported by land within 500m of a pond (Designing Buildings 2018).
The possible problems that might be caused by the location of the road can be divided in to temporal and permanent. In the short term and during the road construction disturbance will be caused by the infilling, draining, dredging. This changes and removal in the land management could damage good newt habitats within the road location. While in the Long?term post?development disturbance will be occurred due to the changes in land?use such as the alterations to the existing ponds in the local area by changing the local hydrology or water quality which could affect water levels or water chemistry in the vicinity ponds. This will cause barriers to newt dispersal and loss of habitat connectivity around the constructed site.
Great crested newts are legally protected in the European and British legislation. The Habitats Directive legislation which translated and implemented in Britain into the Conservation Regulations 1994, and under British legislation section 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which transposed into UK law the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural. These prohibit the intentional killing of newts, the deliberate taking or destruction of eggs, damage or destruction of a breeding site or resting place, damage to or obstruction of a place used for shelter or protection, possession of a great crested newt and any form of trade of great crested newts. The following are cited within the UK Action Plan as causing loss and decline:
· Loss of suitable breeding ponds caused by water table reduction
· In-filling for development
· Waste disposal
· Neglect or fish stocking and the degradation
· Loss and fragmentation of terrestrial habitats
· Pollution and toxic effects of agrochemicals
Activities that to be likely causing loss and decline or significantly affecting the ability of this species is an offence under the legislations. Any such offence may result in a prison sentence of up to 6 months and a £5000 fine.