Guidance on Appropriate Assessment for Planning Authorities

Irish Guidance:

Appropriate Assessment for Local Authorities

In 2009, NPWS and the Planning Divisions of the then Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government published guidance on appropriate assessment for planning authorities. Please note that the term “Statement for Appropriate Assessment” should now be considered to be replaced by the term “Natura Impact Statement” (NIS).

DoEHLG (2009) Ministers Speech - Appropriate Assessment guidance launch PDF_icon [24KB]

Marine Natura Impact Statements in Irish Special Areas of Conservation - A Working Document

Download Marine Assessment Working Document

This document has the status of a working document.  It does not represent finalised departmental guidance.

It has been prepared by technical personnel within the Department who review and provide advice in relation to development applications within the statutory consultation process.

In releasing this document, the Department envisages that relevant stakeholders involved in the preparation of Natura Impact Statements would benefit from some insight into the likely considerations of the Department’s technical personnel for appropriate assessment purposes.

The Department would welcome any constructive technical feedback to

A number of Circulars have been issued by NPWS in recent years as guidance on the implementation of Regulations.

Guidance from the European Commission

The European Commission has also prepared a range of guidance on Article 6 of the Habitats Directive, and aspects thereof. The Commission has also prepared guidance for certain sectors, such as wind energy developments. These are available at:

Please be advised, however, that some aspects of the published Guidance are superceded by case law of the European Court of Justice. The Commission is planning to revise its Article 6 guidance in light of case law developments, but in the meantime, information on such case law is available at: (up to 2006) 

and on the European Court of Justice's search engine at:


Queries and Comments

While all referrals concerning development applications should be submitted to the Development Applications Unit, general queries and comments on other matters may be submitted to