PPS 2: Planning and Nature Conservation
Nature Conservation and Development Control
34. Planning permission is normally required for the carrying out of any development of land."Development" is defined in Article 11 of the 1991 Order as 'the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land.'
35. The purpose of the planning system is to control the development and use of land in the best interests of the community. The submission of a planning application provides the opportunity for a particular development to be considered against the background of the general interests of the locality. Each application is carefully considered against the relevant development plan, published policy statements, associated practice and planning criteria and standards.
36. Many sites important for nature conservation have been designated under the statutes and international measures outlined above. Government wishes to ensure that the requirements of conservation legislation are fully met, and that, as far as possible and consistent with the objectives of the designation, these sites are protected from damage and destruction, with their important scientific features conserved by appropriate management.
37. The Habitats Directive gave an international dimension to nature conservation in Northern Ireland with the introduction of European Sites (SACs and SPAs). The Department considers that the significance of this important change should be reflected in its planning policies and specifically by the publication of a new suite of nature conservation policies to replace those relating to nature conservation in 'A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland' ie, policies SP14, SP17, CON1, CON2 and CON3.
38. The hierarchy of nature conservation sites, ie, international, national and local, is reflected in the tiered approach of the new policies, the degree of protection afforded to sites increasing in accordance with the importance of the site. The application of these policies is extended by this Planning Policy Statement to the whole of Northern Ireland.
This section contains the following sub-categories.
- Development Affecting Sites of International Nature Conservation Importance
- Development Affecting Sites of National Nature Conservation Importance
- Development Affecting Recognised Sites of Local Nature Conservation Importance
- Development Affecting Local Nature Conservation Sites Identified in Development Plans
- Development Affecting Other Sites of Local Conservation Importance
- Trees and Woodlands
- Protection of Species