Modern environmental legislation at European Union and Irish level has meant a comprehensive understanding of ecological and environmental issues is often necessary for the undertaking of successful planning applications in Ireland. The transposition of the EU Habitats Directive Assessment provides the legal basis for the protection of habitats and species of European importance in Ireland. A network of designated conservation areas known as the Natura 2000 network has been established throughout Europe, including Ireland. This network includes Natura 2000 sites designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) under the EU Habitats Directive, and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) designated under the EU Birds Directive.
As a result, planning applications within, or close to such Natura 2000 sites (and hence they may have a significant impact on them) generally require certain types of ecological reports to be submitted to the local authority, which are named below. For a planning application, such a report must satisfy the local authority that the proposed development will have no significant impact on habitats and species of special importance, or else modifications to the proposal can be considered to sufficiently reduce or remove significant impacts. Similarly, a proposed development must not increase the threat of flooding to the surrounding landscape and to other local development, and it must not itself be vulnerable to flooding events.
In addition to structural engineering and architectural services, our consultancy team possess university degree qualifications and relevant experience in regional & urban planning, environmental engineering and ecology. We therefore have the necessary expertise to successfully manage the frequent requirement for appropriate and detailed ecological and landscape reports in relation to proposed developments. We have much relevant experience in preparing and submitting reports in relation to, for example:
– Screening for Appropriate Assessments;
– Natura Impact Statements;
– Biodiversity Impact Statements;
– Flood Impact Assessments.
We have prepared such reports in relation to a diverse range of planning applications, e.g. residential developments, wind farms, construction of sporting facilities, the appropriate deposition of construction & demolition waste, etc. These ecological and landscape based reports are based on a thorough and detailed knowledge of natural habitats and species in an Irish context, in addition to in-depth knowledge of Natura 2000 sites, SPAs and SACs in the west of Ireland. Our environmental expertise can greatly assist clients in their development applications from this perspective.