Draft PPS18: Renewable Energy
Policy RE 1 Justification & Amplification: Active Peatland
4.12. Active peatland, comprising blanket and raised bog, is identified as a priority habitat for Europe in Annex 1 of the EC Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and Wild Fauna and Flora. Active peatland sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and stores it over long periods of time
4.13. The cutting and drainage associated with the development of, in particular, wind turbines and their associated infrastructure, has the potential to severely impact on the hydrology of a large area of active bog, with the ensuing release of the carbon stored therein. Any development on active peatland will not be permitted unless it is necessary for reasons of human health, public safety, or a beneficial consequence of primary importance to the environment, or to other reasons which in the opinion of the Department, having considered the opinion of the European Commission, are imperative reasons of overriding public interest.
4.14. Where the hydrology of other peatland sites has been negatively impacted upon through previous interventions, measures may be taken to restore such areas to active peatland. In promoting mitigation/compensatory measures for renewable energy developments the Department may require developers to restore areas to active peatland that are within or adjacent to the development site.