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Thomson Ecology HandbookPlanning policy and guidance: Ireland

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

Planning policy and guidance: Ireland

The following policy and guidance are most relevant to planning and biodiversity in Ireland:

National Spatial Strategy for the Republic of Ireland (NSS) (2002)

The National Spatial Strategy (NSS) is the planning framework for the Republic of Ireland and covers the period 2002-2020. It provides strategic planning guidance for regional and local plans and recognises the importance of a high quality environment. The NSS encourages relevant local authorities to put in place measures “to conserve and, where appropriate and possible, enhance biodiversity”.

National Development Plan 2007-2013. Transforming Ireland: A Better Quality of Life for All

The National Development Plan provides co-ordination for the development of Ireland and its regions. It includes consideration of Environmental Sustainability and, within this, Natural Heritage. The principal mechanism set out in the Plan to conserve Ireland’s Natural Heritage and Biodiversity is the purchase, restoration and management of protected areas, especially Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas.

Regional Planning Guidelines

The eight regional authorities in Ireland have each produced Regional Planning Guidelines. These cover various periods and may contain policies on biodiversity or stipulate that policies on wildlife protection should be included in plans prepared by local authorities.

City, town and county development plans and local area plans

Building in the guidance set out in the Regional Planning Guidelines, local authorities have prepared development plans. These typically include polices for the protection of natural heritage, including protected sites, protected species, areas of biodiversity value, wetlands, woodlands and trees.

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