Plans for the new multi-million pound Durham Police headquarters can now go ahead after Natural England granted them a wildlife licence relating to great crested newts.
The building work can begin once a fence has been erected to prevent any great crested newts from being harmed by entering the site.
Outside this fence, great crested newts will be carefully captured and moved to a suitable receptor site nearby after their hibernation ends in Spring.
Durham Constabulary hope that the move to the new police headquarters will enable them to make annual savings of around £750,000.
– Gary Ridley, Assistant Chief Officer for Durham Constabulary
“This is excellent news for the people of County Durham and Darlington because the savings made will go towards maintaining police officer numbers and continued high performance by the force.”
– Adrian Vass, Natural England’s Area Manager
“I’m pleased that we’ve been able to issue a licence that will allow this important development to proceed in harmony with our wildlife, landscapes and laws.
As well as providing a modern base for the police the project will create a bigger, better habitat for great crested newts so this licence represents a significant step forward for both Durham constabulary and one of our most cherished native species.”