PPS 11: Planning and Waste Management
Policy WM 1: Nature Conservation and Heritage
6.15 Waste management development can cause unacceptable harm to nature conservation sites and the flora, fauna and physical characteristics contained therein. Such damage can be incurred directly through physical destruction or indirectly through pollution, alteration of water tables, dust and other disturbance to sensitive species. Equally unacceptable damage can occur to archaeologically sensitive sites.
6.16 The Department’s planning policy in relation to nature conservation is contained within Planning Policy Statement 2 “Planning and Nature Conservation”. Within Northern Ireland part of the countryside and shoreline is of significant and in some cases, outstanding nature conservation importance. Such areas have been designated according to their importance and this has resulted in the establishment of a hierarchy of sites of international, national or local importance. In determining applications for waste management facilities the Department will not grant approval where a proposal will cause unacceptable harm to a designated site. In determining the acceptability of the impact of a proposal on a designated site the Department takes advice from relevant expert consultees.
6.17 The Department will also give careful consideration to the nature conservation implications of any development proposal where it is known that the development may threaten protected species of flora and fauna, an area of wetland or any other significant feature of nature conservation value. In all cases developers should assess sites proposed for waste management facilities, including former mineral workings, for their nature conservation interest. Where nature conservation interest is known or likely to be significant, an ecological/geological/soil survey will be required before any decision is taken on the future use of the site. The Department will consult the Natural Heritage Unit of the Department’s Environment & Heritage Service for advice on these issues.
6.18 Account must also be taken of the potential effect of the development of waste management facilities on archaeological resources, listed buildings, Conservation Areas, marine and riverine archaeological environments and historic landscape features such as historic parks gardens and demesnes. The Department’s current planning policy in relation to the built heritage is contained within Planning Policy Statement 6 “Planning Archaeology and the Built Heritage”. The Department will consult the Built Heritage Unit of the Environment & Heritage Service for advice on these issues.