The whole legal framework around protecting endangered flora & fauna needs looking at, updating and streamlining. It is not fit for purpose and has been hijacked by environmental bodies to make money at the expense of developers and hence the taxpayer. As well as standard building work it will hold up windfarms, nuclear power stations and everything else we are trying to do to reduce CO2 emmissions
Developers and construction companies are spending inordinate amounts of money on the protection of 'endangered' species which are not endangered as a consequence of planning approval. The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 is the main piece of law. The fact is that the badger is still classed as a protected species (the Protection of Badgers Act 1992). As we know these creatures are not rare now and have setts everywhere and this can hold up developers for months for anything from a new motorway down to a new housing estate. It is costing millions in delay & disruption and feathering the nests of environmental consultants including English Nature with no added value to the environment. In the case of great crested newts. This is classified as a rare species in Europe because they are all in the UK. You can bet you're bottom dollar that where you find a pond the enviromentalists will find at least one newt. It only takes one newt egg to be found to create a scenario of severe delay & cost as the whole machinery of complying with the 'Newt Licence' from English Nature is enacted. You could build a wildlife park for newts for the money it is costing as the result of finding one newt egg.