The criteria and thresholds in this Annex ( referred to in para 8.0 ) are only indicative. In determining whether significant effects are likely, the location of a development is also of crucial importance. The more environmentally sensitive the location, the lower will be the threshold at which significant effects will be likely.
It follows, therefore, that the thresholds below should only be used in conjunction with the more general guidance in this DCAN.
A1 In general, agricultural operations fall outside the scope of the Planning system and, where relevant, will be regulated under other consent procedures. The descriptions below apply only to projects that are considered to be ‘development’ for the purposes of the Planning ( Northern Ireland) Order 1991.
Use of uncultivated or semi-natural land for intensive agricultural purposes
A2 Development (such as greenhouses, farm buildings etc.) on previously uncultivated land is unlikely to require EIA unless it covers more than five hectares. In considering whether particular development is likely to have significant effects, consideration should be given to impacts on the surrounding ecology, hydrology and landscape.
Water management for agriculture, including irrigation and land drainage works
A3 EIA is more likely to be required if the development would result in permanent changes to the character of more than five hectares of land. In assessing the significance of any likely effects, particular regard should be had to whether the development would have damaging wider impacts on hydrology and surrounding ecosystems. It follows that EIA will not normally be required for routine water management projects undertaken by farmers.
Intensive livestock installations
A4 The significance or otherwise of the impacts of intensive livestock installations will often depend upon the level of odours, increased traffic and the arrangements for waste handling. EIA is more likely to be required for intensive livestock installations if they are designed to house more than 750 sows, 2,000 fattening pigs, 60,000 broilers or 50,000 layers, turkeys or other poultry.
Intensive fish farming
A5 Apart from the physical scale of any development, the likelihood of significant effects will generally depend on the extent of any likely wider impacts on the hydrology and ecology of the surrounding area. Developments designed to produce more than 100 tonnes (dead weight) of fish per year will be more likely to require EIA.
Reclamation of land from the sea
A6 In assessing the significance of any development, regard should be had to the likely wider impacts on natural coastal processes beyond the site itself, as well as to the scale of reclamation works themselves. EIA is more likely to be required where work is proposed on a site which exceeds 1 hectare.
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