PPS 2: Planning and Nature Conservation
Nature Conservation and Development Control: Development Affecting Other Sites of Local Conservation Importance
61. Although the network of protected sites is an essential resource for nature conservation, if can cover only a small proportion of the land area. These sites cannot contain more than a representative sample proportion of the land area. These sites cannot contain more than a representative sample of the natural resource which they have been established to protect. Indeed, many rare and vulnerable species, protected under the Wildlife Order, are not confined to designated areas but occur elsewhere. Survival of the entire range of Northern Ireland's wildlife and the maintenance of the full diversity of its geological and physiographical features cannot be achieved solely by site protection but will require the wise management of the total land resource.
62. Habitats, species and features worthy of protection may occur almost anywhere but they are particularly prevalent in wet grasslands, freshwater lakes, blanket and lowland raised bogs, areas of broad-leaved woodland, river corridors and coastal sand dunes. The Planning Service does not have, and cannot reasonably be expected to have, total knowledge of the potential nature conservation significance of every site. It will, however, when processing planning applications, take into account any information obtained through consultation with the Environment and Heritage Service and any representations received from amenity bodies and the general public.
63. Careful consideration will be given to the nature conservation implications of any development proposal where it is known to the Planning Service that the development may threaten any protected species of flora or fauna, any area of wetland as defined in the Ramsar Convention, or any other significant feature of nature conservation value. Wildlife habitats and physical features can sometimes be protected by the careful siting and treatment of developments. In some cases, conditions will be attached to planning permissions to minimise or compensate for the impact on wildlife or physical features. Informatives may also be attached informing the developer of his obligations under the Wildlife Order.