The EU Habitats Directive requires Member States to maintain or restore the favourable conservation status of the habitats and species listed in its annexes in the SACs. Thus designation of a site as an SAC or SPA has wide ranging implications. Land use practices that may be affected include:
Certain activities restricted within NHAs, SACs and SPAs can only be carried out with the consent of the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, and these 'Notifiable Actions' vary depending on the type of habitat that is present on the site. Many other activities can only be undertaken with permits or licences.
The Government is committed, as part of the social partnership process, to the payment of a fair and proper level of compensation to landowners and users for actual losses suffered due to restrictions imposed as a result of their lands being included in formal proposals for designation as NHA, SAC or SPA.