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Thomson Ecology HandbookNational planning law and wildlife | Wales

TEH Index

Part 1: Legal frameworks

Part 2: Planning policy and other guidance

Part 3: Development and features of biodiversity importance

Part 4: Surveys and assessment

Part 5: Mitigation and enhancement

Part 6: Practical techniques

Table 4B: National planning law and wildlife: Wales

Legislation Description
Town and Country Planning Act 1990
Consolidates previous planning acts and regulates planning and the granting of planning permission. Allows planning authorities to grant planning permission, either unconditionally or subject to such conditions as they think fit, or refuse planning permission. Requires the planning authority to have regard to any material considerations, which under Tan5:Wales, include nature conservation. Section 106 covers legal agreements between the planning authority and developer, and may include agreements relating to protected species mitigation.
The Harbour Works (EIA) Regulations 1999 amend the Harbours Act 1964.
To implement the EIA Directive in relation to Harbour orders.
Highways (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1999 and the Highways (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2007 Implement part of the 1985 EIA Directive as amended by the 1997 EIA Directive and replace the Highways (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1988. Apply to roads for which the Secretary of State for Transport or the National Assembly for Wales is the highway authority.
Transport and Works (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1995; as amended in 1998 and 2000 together with the Transport and Works (Applications and Objections Procedure) (England and Wales) Rules 2006
Implement part of the 1985 EIA Directive, as amended by the 1997 EIA Directive and provide for amendments to the Transport and Works Act 1992. Apply to projects for the construction or operation of railways, tramways and other guided transport systems, inland waterways, works interfering with rights of navigation, and wind farms.
The Marine Works (EIA) Regulations 2007 (as amended) implement the EIA Directive in relation to Marine licences.  The EIA Directive aims to protect the environment and the quality of life by ensuring that projects which are likely to have significant environmental effects by virtue of their nature, size or location are subject to an environmental impact assessment before permission is granted. An EIA is always required for projects of the type listed in Annex I to the EIA Directive. An EIA may be required for projects of the type listed in Annex II to the EIA Directive if we decide they are likely to have significant effects on the environment.
Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) Order 2010 (the DMPO) Article 16 sets out the consultation procedures for developments affecting Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The DMPO also sets out the procedures for making a planning application and replaces the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order (the GDPO)
Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004
Provides the statutory underpinning for The Wales Spatial Plan (2004) and Local Development Plans, within which policies for nature conservation may be found.
Planning Act 2008  Established the (now abolished) Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), which dealt with planning applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects, such as railways, large wind farms, power stations and so on, and sets out the procedures for dealing with such applications.
Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2009 Made in response to changes instigated by the Planning Act 2008, the Infrastructure Planning Regulations 2009 set out how the environmental impacts of nationally significant infrastructure projects will be assessed. Under these regulations the IPC was considered the competent authority for such projects with regard to the EIA and Habitats Regulations.
Localism Act 2011
Act with the aim shifting power away from Central Government and towards local communities. Required local authorities (in England and Wales) to maintain a list of assets (land and buildings) of community value (which could potentially include areas of nature conservation value), abolished the Infrastructure Planning Commission ³ and established a right of entry for surveys (and sampling) to land which is subject to an application requiring assessment under the EIA and Habitats Directives.

Note: Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 applies in part to Wales; however, the parts that were relevant to wildlife protection apply to England only.

³ The functions of the National Infrastructure Planning Commission are now undertaken by National Infrastructure Planning, a division of the Planning Inspectorate.

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