Firstly you need to employ a reputable ecological consultant. The consultant should demonstrate the presence or otherwise of great crested newts using either survey or existing records within the area. They will also carry out habitat surveys of the site and make an informed assessment of its value for great crested newt. At this stage we recommend you and your consultant make contact with the local planning authority and either go through the pre-application enquiry process or hold an informal discussion on what is the best way to proceed.