Planning Portal

PPS 2: Planning and Nature Conservation
Nature Conservation and Development Control: International Sites:  Review of Extant Planning Permissions Affecting European Sites

44. The Habitats Regulations require the Department to review any extant planning permissions which are likely to have a significant effect on a European site, either individually or in combination with other development, and to take any appropriate action. This requirement applies to:-
  • existing SPAs (listed in Annex 3);
  • future SPAs when they are classified; and
  • SACs, when the Government and European Commission agree that the site is a Site of Community Importance and should be designated as an SAC.
45. The review will assess whether implementation of any permission which is likely to have a significant effect on the site, and is not directly connected with or necessary to its management, would adversely affect its integrity (see paras 39-41 above). If the integrity of the site would be adversely affected, and if the permission does not fulfil the conditions under which a new development proposal affecting the site would be approved, then the Department will take appropriate action to remove the potential for harm, unless there is no likelihood of the development being carried out or continued.
46. Appropriate action means that the Department may modify or revoke the permission, or make an order to discontinue the use. Alternatively, if may be possible to arrive at a planning agreement facilitating, regulating or restricting the development or use of the land so as to safeguard the site's ecological value.
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