Draft PPS14: Sustainable Development in the Countryside
Policy Context: Habitats Directive and Regulations
2.7 The Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995 (known as the “Habitats Regulations”) came into operation in 1995. Their purpose is to implement the EC Directive (known as the “Habitats Directive”) on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.
2.8 One of the main initiatives of the Habitats Directive is the creation of a European network of wildlife sites to be known as “Natura 2000”. This network will be made up of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) under the Habitats Directive and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) under the related EC Birds Directive and which are collectively known as European sites. European sites play an important role and aim to maintain or restore the extent and quality of rare habitat types and to ensure that rare species can survive and maintain their populations and natural range on a long-term basis. Thus there is a need to ensure that the implications of present activities and future proposals are properly assessed in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Regulations.