Guidance on Appropriate Assessment for Planning Authorities

DoEHLG (2009)  Appropriate Assessment of Plans & Projects - Guidance for Planning Authorities  [1 MB]

Read the Minister's Speech - Appropriate Assessment guidance launch  [24KB]


This guidance, prepared jointly by the NPWS and Planning Divisions of DECLG, with input from local authorities, sets out the different steps and stages that are needed in establishing whether a plan or project can be implemented without damaging a Natura 2000 site. It indicates the role to be played by professional ecologists and other professionals in identifying and assessing potential impacts. It is intended that planning authorities should follow this guidance.

It addresses issues of mitigation and avoidance of impacts, and also the Article 6.4 derogation provisions in circumstances in which there are no alternatives and there are imperative reasons of overriding public interest requiring a plan or project to proceed.

Comments and suggestions are welcome from local authorities and State agencies, from ecology and planning professionals, from the environmental non-Government organisations, and from other interested members of the public. We will particularly welcome relevant case studies that help to highlight the different types of issues that arise in the Appropriate Assessment process.

Readers may observe a degree of repetition in the Guidance. This is intentional, as the document is intended for reference.

REVISION NOTES - 11 February 2010: “Statement for Appropriate Assessment” replaced by “Natura Impact Statement” or NIS.