Great crested newts are protected under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2017) and Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). It is an offence to intentionally kill, injure or take great crested newts or intentionally or recklessly disturb great crested newts or damage, destroy or obstruct access to any place used by the animal for shelter or protection.
The potential presence of great crested newts is therefore an essential consideration for any development within 500m of a waterbody. If a development has the potential to affect great crested newts, planning permission should not be granted without thorough survey and assessment. Even where ponds are not being directly affected, survey will be required in many cases, to protect the species during the terrestrial phase of their lifecycle.