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Online tool to aid Local Authorities avoid SSSI damage

View profile for Clare Hallett
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Natural England have recently launched a new online tool to help Local Planning Authorities (LPAs), developers and ecologists assess whether a proposed development is likely to impact negatively on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).

The Impact Risk Zones (IRZs) dataset is a tool which maps zones around each SSSI, showing the sensitivities of the features for which it is identified, and specifying the types of development which may have the potential to cause adverse impact.

Commercial Property Associate Clare Hallett says, “Local Planning Authorities have a duty to consult Natural England before they can grant planning permission on any development that is in, or is likely to affect any SSSI and this new tool will help them determine how any impacts may be avoided.”

8% of England is covered by SSSIs and include the country’s most important wildlife and geological sites. Some of England’s most spectacular and beautiful countryside is protected by SSSI.

Mr Rob Cooke, Natural England’s Sustainable Development Director said that the new tool should save local authorities’ time and resources. He comments ‘This innovative tool should cut out the need for a number of consultations with Natural England and provide clear advice on what should or should not be built on land close to SSSIs.

We have offices in the Christchurch, New Milton and the New Forest. Our Commercial Property team also cover Bournemouth and Poole. For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and Clare or a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have

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