Habitat Directive Assessment Natura Impact Report Draft Tralee - Killarney Hub Area Local Area Plan 2013-2019

 
Habitat Directive Assessment Natura Impact Report Draft Tralee - Killarney Hub Area Local Area Plan 2013-2019
Habitat Directive Assessment

           Natura Impact Report

                       of the

       Draft Tralee – Killarney
 Hub Area Local Area Plan 2013-2019

                    and of the

related / complementary variation to the
 Kerry County Development Plan 2009-
                 2015
   IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF ARTICLE 6
                        OF THE
            EU HABITATS DIRECTIVE 92/43/EEC
Habitat Directive Assessment Natura Impact Report Draft Tralee - Killarney Hub Area Local Area Plan 2013-2019
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.          Executive Summary .......................................................................3
     1.1.       Introduction....................................................................................................3
     1.2.       Stage I Screening ...........................................................................................3
     1.3.       Stage II Appropriate Assessment / Natura Impact Report.............................4
     1.4.       Conclusion .....................................................................................................4
 2.     Introduction to Habitats Directive Assessment and to Stage
One Screening ...........................................................................................5
     2.1.   Introduction....................................................................................................5
     2.2. The requirement for Habitats Directive Assessment .....................................5
     2.3.   The purpose of Habitats Directive Assessment .............................................8
     2.4.   Overview of Habitats Directive Assessment Process in relation to the
     preparation of the Hub FALAP and related / complimentary variation to the Kerry
     County Development Plan 2009-2015.......................................................................8
     2.5.   Introduction to Stage One Screening ...........................................................10
 3.       Description of the plan and other plans and projects that,
 ‘in combination’, have the potential to have significant effects on a
European or Natura 2000 site................................................................11
     3.1.    Introduction..................................................................................................11
     3.2.    Description of the Plan.................................................................................11
     3.3.    Description of other strategies and plans reviewed to identify potential in-
     combination effects on Natura 2000 Sites. ..............................................................13
     3.4.    Key elements of the plan, alone or in combination with other projects or
     plans, that were considered to have the potential for having significant effects on
     Natura 2000 sites......................................................................................................20
4.          Characteristics of the Natura 2000 Sites ....................................21
     4.1.    Introduction..................................................................................................21
     4.2.    Identification and consideration of Natura 2000 sites located within or
     immediately adjoining the plan area in situ and ex situ...........................................21
     4.3. Summary of key issues identified as being of importance in maintaining site
     integrity ....................................................................................................................48
     4.4.    Natura 2000 sites which may be potentially affected by the Plan ...............50
 5.    Assessment of the significance of any impacts on Natura 2000
Sites ........................................................................................................51
     5.1.    Introduction..................................................................................................51
     5.2.    Data sources, consultation, gaps and limitations .........................................51
     5.3.    Detailed Screening for Potential Effects on Natura 2000 Sites ...................53
     5.4.    Detailed screening of the plans key policies and strategies for potential
     effects on Natura 2000 Sites ....................................................................................74
     5.5. Summary and Recommendations from the Detailed Screening for Potential
     Effects on Natura 2000 Sites....................................................................................80
6.          Stage II Appropriate Assessment – Natura Impact Report .....81
     6.1.       Introduction..................................................................................................81
     6.2.       Likely significant effects of the Plan of Natura 2000 sites..........................81
    7.   Appropriate Assessment Conclusion and Determination
Statements................................................................................................89
     7.1.       Conclusion ...................................................................................................89
     7.2.       Determination Statements............................................................................89
PLANNING POLICY UNIT
KERRY COUNTY COUNCIL
March 2013.
Habitat Directive Assessment Natura Impact Report Draft Tralee - Killarney Hub Area Local Area Plan 2013-2019
1. Executive Summary

1.1. Introduction
For the purposes of this report and assessment the draft Hub Tralee - Killarney Functional
Area Local Area Plan and the Related / Complementary Variation to the Kerry County
Development Plan 2009-2015 are taken to be ‘the plan’.

There are a considerable number of environmental designations in the vicinity of the plan
area and accordingly attention and care were given at the plan formulation stage to ensure
that objectives, policies and supporting text were framed so as to ensure that the special
interest of these was not undermined.

This report, a Habitats Directive Assessment Natura Impact Report, is an assessment of
potential impacts of the plan on Natura 2000 sites, which are nature conservation sites of
international importance.

1.2. Stage I Screening
Following a detailed and objective screening exercise, which among other things
considered potential for cumulative and in combination effects in light of the
characteristics and specific environmental conditions of the Natura 2000 sites.

The following aspects of the plan were identified at Stage One Screening Stage, as having
the potent to have significant effects on Natura 2000 sites and accordingly underwent
Stage II Appropriate Assessment / Natura Impact Report.

Proposal               Plan / Map   Location          Natura 2000 sites potentially
                                                      impacted
1. Passive Open Tralee              Between Tralee        •   Tralee Bay Complex
Space    Amenity Environs           and                       SPA (Site Code 004188)
Zoning                              Blennerville
                                                          •   Tralee      Bay     and
                                                              Magharees      Peninsula
                                                              West Cloghane cSAC
                                                              (Site Code 002070)
2.   Mixed      use Tralee          Blennerville          •   Tralee Bay Complex
Zoning              Environs                                  SPA (Site Code 004188)
                                                          •   Tralee      Bay     and
                                                              Magharees      Peninsula
                                                              West Cloghane cSAC
                                                              (Site Code 002070)

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KERRY COUNTY COUNCIL
March 2013.                                                                         3
Habitat Directive Assessment Natura Impact Report Draft Tralee - Killarney Hub Area Local Area Plan 2013-2019
2. Business Park, , Killarney        North and East         •   Killarney National Park,
Mixed Use, Light Environs            of the Town                Macgillycuddy’s Reeks
Industry Zonings                                                and     River    Caragh
                                                                Catchment SAC (Site
                                                                Code 000365)
4. N22 Farranfore Various            Farranfore     –       •   Killarney National Park,
to Killarney Road                    Killarney                  Macgillycuddy’s Reeks
Improvement                                                     and     River    Caragh
Scheme Indicative                                               Catchment SAC (Site
Route                                                           Code 000365)
                                                            •   Castlemaine     Harbour
                                                                SAC (Site Code 000343)
                                                            •   Sheheree (Ardagh) Bog
                                                                SAC (Site Code SAC
                                                                000382)

1.3. Stage II Appropriate Assessment / Natura Impact Report
Where potential significant impacts on Natura 2000 sites were identified, mitigation
measures were proposed to reduce or eliminate the impact. These recommendations are
contained and highlighted in S.6 of this report.

In line with best practice, a hierarchy of mitigation, beginning with avoidance was
followed. As part of this, modifications to zoning maps and the addition of objectives,
caveats and / or changes to the wording of supporting text were recommended.

It is considered that the recommended modifications as outlined in this report are sufficient
to ensure that adverse impacts on the integrity of Natura 2000 sites will be avoided.

1.4. Conclusion
This report concludes that the plan, either by itself or in combination with other plans and
projects, would not adversely impact on the integrity of Natura 2000 sites – provided that
the recommended modifications as set out in S.6 of this report are incorporated into the
plan.

PLANNING POLICY UNIT
KERRY COUNTY COUNCIL
March 2013.                                                                            4
Habitat Directive Assessment Natura Impact Report Draft Tralee - Killarney Hub Area Local Area Plan 2013-2019
2. Introduction to Habitats Directive Assessment and to Stage
   One Screening
2.1. Introduction
Kerry County Council is currently preparing a local area plan for the Tralee – Killarney
Hub Functional Areas. The extent of the plan area and the settlement hierarchy within the
plan area are shown in Figure 2-1 and Figure 2-2. This local area plan contains an overall
strategy for the development of these areas and a review of the settlements within the areas
based on this strategy and consistent with that of the current County Development Plan
(CDP) for Kerry.

The 2009-2015 Kerry CDP came into effect on the 4th of May 2009. That CDP sets out a
strategic spatial framework within which to guide development in the County over the
period of the Plan from 2009 – 2015. A Screening report for the County Development
Plan concluded that the Plan would not significantly adversely impact on Natura 2000
Sites. The CDP has subsequently been varied a number of times, each of which was
subject to Habitats Directive Assessment.

This Habitat Directive Assessment forms part of this initial stage of the plan making
process. The draft plan and the related / complementary variation to the Kerry County
Development Plan 2009-2015 are being considered at this stage to assess if there is likely
to be a significant effect or adverse effect on any Natura 2000 site. Following the public
consultation period, any proposed amendments will be further assessed in order to assess
their impacts. The proactive approach allows for the adjustment of the policies and
proposals of the Plan (and the related / complementary variation to the County
Development Plan) prior to adoption. This approach will ensure that significant adverse
impacts on Natura 2000 sites are avoided.

2.2. The requirement for Habitats Directive Assessment
The Habitats Directive Assessment (HDA), also known as Appropriate Assessment, is a
requirement under the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC. This Directive indicates the need for
plans and projects to be subject to Habitats Directive Assessment if the plan or project is
not directly connected with or necessary to the management of a Natura 2000 site, but is
likely to have a significant effect either individually or in combination with other plans or
projects on Natura 2000 sites. This was reinforced in the ECJ ruling against Ireland in
Case 418/04.

PLANNING POLICY UNIT
KERRY COUNTY COUNCIL
March 2013.                                                                            5
Habitat Directive Assessment Natura Impact Report Draft Tralee - Killarney Hub Area Local Area Plan 2013-2019
Figure 2-1 The Plan Area*
         *lands located within the functional areas of Tralee and Killarney Town Councils are not located
           within this plan area

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KERRY COUNTY COUNCIL
March 2013.                                                                                          6
Habitat Directive Assessment Natura Impact Report Draft Tralee - Killarney Hub Area Local Area Plan 2013-2019
Figure 2-2 Settlement Hierarchy in the Plan Area

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KERRY COUNTY COUNCIL
March 2013.                                        7
Habitat Directive Assessment Natura Impact Report Draft Tralee - Killarney Hub Area Local Area Plan 2013-2019
2.3. The purpose of Habitats Directive Assessment
Principally the purpose of a Habitats Directive Assessment is to identify the possible
effects of implementing a plan (or project) on the conservation status of designated Natura
2000 sites within sphere of influence of the plan (or project). The Directive 92/43/EEC on
the Conservation of Natural Habitats and Wild Flora and Fauna – the ‘Habitats Directive’
provides legal protection for habitats and species of European importance. Article 2 of the
Habitats Directive requires the maintenance or restoration of habitats and species of
interest to the EU in a favourable condition. The Directive was transposed into Irish law by
the European Communities (Natural Habitats) Regulations, SI 94/1997.

Under Article 6(3) of the Habitats Directive an Appropriate Assessment must be
undertaken for any plan or program that is likely to have a significant effect on the
conservation objectives of a Natura 2000 site. Article 6 paragraph 3 states:-

Any plan or project not directly connected with or necessary to the management of the site
but likely to have a significant effect thereon, either individually or in combination with
other plans or projects, shall be subject to appropriate assessment of its implications for
the site in view of the site’s conservation objectives. In the light of the conclusions of the
assessment of the implications for the site and subject to the provisions of paragraph 4, the
competent national authorities shall agree to the plan or project only after having
ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of the site concerned and, if
appropriate, after having obtained the opinion of the general public.

In summary, a HDA is an evaluation of the potential impacts of a plan on the conservation
objectives of a Natura 2000 site, and the development, where necessary, of mitigation or
avoidance measures to preclude negative effects. Principally the purpose of a HDA is to
identify the possible effects of implementing a Plan on the conservation status of
designated Natura 2000 sites. In a situation where it is not possible to fully demonstrate
that adverse effects on the site integrity would occur, options must be explored so that any
risk of damaging designated sites is avoided.

Plans can only be permitted after having ascertained that there will be no significant
adverse effect on the integrity of the sites in question. Components within a plan, such as
objectives or proposals, can be adjusted or removed to avoid significant adverse impacts
prior to implementation. The plan may also proceed if sufficient mitigation or
compensation measures are in place to ensure the overall integrity of Natura 2000 sites.

2.4. Overview of Habitats Directive Assessment Process in relation to the
   preparation of the Hub FALAP and related / complimentary variation
   to the Kerry County Development Plan 2009-2015.
In the preparation of this assessment reference has been made to the following documents:-
•       Appropriate Assessment of Plans and Projects in Ireland – Guidance for Planning
Authorities (2009).
•       European Commissions: Managing Natura 2000 Sites. The provisions of Article 6,
of the ‘Habitats’ Directive 92/43/EEC

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KERRY COUNTY COUNCIL
March 2013.                                                                             8
Habitat Directive Assessment Natura Impact Report Draft Tralee - Killarney Hub Area Local Area Plan 2013-2019
•      European Commission: Assessment of plans and projects significantly affecting
Natura 2000 sites Methodological guidance on the provisions of Article 6(3) and (4) of the
Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC
•      Guidance document on Article 6(4) of 'Habitats Directive' 92/43/EEC
•      Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government (DEHLG)
Circular letter SEA 1/08 & NPWS 1/08 dated 15 February, 2008.
•      Department of the Environment (1994). Planning and Policy Guidance: Nature
Conservation (PPG9) (HMSO).

The circular mentioned above refers to the recent ruling against Ireland in Case 418/04 EC
Commission v Ireland. The ruling relates to Ireland’s transposition and implementation of
the Birds Directive 79/409/EEC, as well as its implementation of relevant articles of the
Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC. The ruling among other things clarifies that Ireland has not
correctly transposed Article 6(3) and 6(4) of the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC by not
providing explicitly for appropriate assessment of land use plans, as opposed to projects
(paragraphs 222 to 234 of the ruling).

Accordingly, any draft land use plan (development plans, local area plans, regional
planning guidelines, schemes for strategic development zones) or amendment/variation to
it proposed under the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) must be screened
for any potential impact on areas designated as Natura 2000 sites (normally called Special
Areas of Conservation (SACs) or Special Protection Areas (SPAs).

This screening should be based on any ecological information available to the authority
and an adequate description of the plan and its likely environmental impacts. This should
take into account any policies that will set the terms for future development. The results of
the screening should be recorded and made available to the public. In any case where,
following screening, it is found that the draft plan or amendment may have an impact on
the conservation objectives of a Natura 2000 site or that such an impact cannot be ruled
out, adopting a precautionary approach an appropriate assessment of the plan must be
carried out and - in any case where a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) would not
otherwise be required, it must also be carried out”.

The provisions of Art. 6(4) of the Habitats Directive apply when the results of the
preliminary assessment under Art. 6(3) are negative or uncertain. That is:

1. The plan or project will adversely affect the integrity of the site
2. Doubts remain as to the absence of adverse effects on the integrity of the site linked to
the plan or project concerned.

The European Commission’s Methodological Guidance recommends a 4 stage approach:-

Stage 1     Screening: Determining whether the plan ‘either alone or in combination with
other plans or projects’ is likely to have a significant effect on a Natura 2000 site.

Stage 2    Appropriate Assessment: Determining whether, in view of the site’s
conservation objectives, the plan ‘either alone or in combination with other plans or

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KERRY COUNTY COUNCIL
March 2013.                                                                            9
Habitat Directive Assessment Natura Impact Report Draft Tralee - Killarney Hub Area Local Area Plan 2013-2019
projects’ would have an adverse effect (or risk of this) on the integrity of the site. If not,
the plan can proceed.

Stage 3: Assessment of Alternative Solutions: Where it has not been proven that
measures considered will not avoid or mitigate the adverse affect on the Natura 2000 site,
then an assessment of the alternatives will be required; and if none are acceptable then
stage 4 is required to be considered.

Stage 4     Assessment where no Alternative Solutions Exist and where Adverse
Impacts Remain This will involve assessment where the Plan is considered to result in
adverse impacts on the Natura 2000 site and no alternative solutions remain – the
imperative reasons of overriding public interest (IROPI) test must be met before
authorisation, permission or adoption of the Plan is agreed. This includes the agreement of
compensatory measures.

2.5. Introduction to Stage One Screening
The Screening Stage of the report is used to identify whether the Plan, either alone or in
combination with other plans or projects, is likely to have a significant effect on a Natura
2000 site. This report follows European Commission (2001) guidance which recommends
that screening should follow a four step process as outlined below:-

Step one: Determine whether the plan is directly connected with or necessary to the
management of the site. If it is, then no further assessment is necessary.

Step two: Describe the plan and other plans and projects that, ‘in combination’, have the
potential to have significant effects on a European site.

Step three: Identify the potential effects on the European site.

Step four: Assess the significance of any effects on the European site.

As the Hub FALAP and the Kerry County Development Plan are land use plans and are
not directly connected with or necessary to the management of any Natura 2000 site, this
assessment will proceed to step two of the process. The results and recommendations of
the Stage One Screening Process are outlined in Section 4 of this report.

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KERRY COUNTY COUNCIL
March 2013.                                                                            10
3. Description of the plan and other plans and projects that, ‘in
   combination’, have the potential to have significant effects on
   a European or Natura 2000 site
3.1. Introduction
This is the second step of the Stage One Screening process and provides a description of
the plan and other plans and projects that, ‘in combination’, have the potential to have
significant effects on a European or Natura 2000 site

3.2. Description of the Plan
For the purposes of this HDA, the ‘plan’ is taken to be the proposed Draft Tralee –
Killarney Hub Functional Area Local Area Plan 2013-2019 in addition to the related /
complementary variation to the Kerry County Development Plan 2009-2015.

The Planning and Development Act (2000-2010) (as amended) requires a Planning
Authority to make/review a local area plan for a specific area every six years. It is in this
context that the existing plans for the area are being reviewed. The adopted local area plan
for the Hub Functional Area will then be the new statutory plan for the area.

The Functional Area Local Area Plan sets out an overall strategy for the proper planning
and sustainable development of the functional area. The plan addresses a range of
development pressures and needs that are facing the area during the plan period and
beyond. In doing so, it sets out objectives to guide planning decisions and the activities of
the Planning Authority over the period 2013-2019.

The Local Area Plan sits within a hierarchy of other adopted plans and national policy
framework which include the National Spatial Strategy (NSS); National Development Plan
(NDP); Regional Waste Management Plan 2004-2020; the South Western Regional
Planning Guidelines and the Kerry County Development Plan 2009-2015.

The overall aim for the plan is to provide a comprehensive local planning framework for
the functional area which clearly sets out the policies and objectives for its development.
Taken in conjunction with the Regional Planning Guidelines and the County Development
Plan it will complete the planning framework for the area. The plan will clearly set out the
policies and objectives for the development of each settlement and make clear to
landowners, developers and agents the vision of the Planning Authority for the area.

The local area plan sets out a framework for the sustainable development of the functional
area so that growth takes place in a co-ordinated and orderly manner, whilst protecting and
preserving the areas intrinsic character, heritage and amenity and making a positive
contribution to an improvement in the quality of life.

The Hub FALAP consists of strategy, policies, objectives and land use maps for the
functional area. The FALAP comprises of policies and zoning maps for the towns and
villages and defined boundaries for each settlement. Lands located outside of the

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KERRY COUNTY COUNCIL
March 2013.                                                                           11
settlement boundaries will be zoned for rural general development purposes or as
otherwise indicated and defined in the Kerry County Development Plan 2009-2015.

The Plan also contains development management guidelines to ensure that the agreed
aims, strategic objectives and policies are complied with from adoption in 2013 until 2019
unless amended. The plan will last for a period of 6 years from its adoption which is
anticipated will be in 2013. The related variation to the County Development Plan will be
required in order to give effect to the FALAP and in order to allow for the amendment of
the settlement boundaries.

The development strategy promotes the Hub towns of Tralee and Killarney as the main
focus for development within the Plan area offering the greatest potential for economic,
social and cultural development. Within the FALAP, these are supported by the towns of
Milltown, Castlemaine, Ballyheigue and Farranfore and the villages of Abbeydorney,
Ardfert , Causeway, Fenit, Kilflynn, Lixnaw, The Spa, Beaufort, Boolteens, Camp, Firies,
Fossa, Barraduff and Kilcummin.

In relation to the settlements, it is the generally the strategy of the FALAP to ensure that
they retain their current level of service provision and develop as attractive settlements
while maintaining their existing character and to facilitate focused infrastructural provision
/ upgrading, where appropriate and in a sustainable manner, in order to consolidate their
role.

The following are the stated overall objectives of the Plan

Objective       OVERALL OBJECTIVES
                It is an objective of the council to;
OO-1            Provide an improved quality of life for all citizens of the plan area by
                promoting the areas economic potential, protect its natural and built
                environment and safeguarding its cultural heritage.

OO-2            Provide for the development of the area in a manner which is
                environmentally sustainable and protects its social, cultural, environmental
                and economic assets for future generations.

OO-3            Provide for balanced growth throughout the area by promoting the
                strengthening of rural communities and providing the infrastructure to
                facilitate job creation and diversification in these areas in an
                environmentally sustainable manner at appropriate locations. Promote and
                foster local entrepreneurial activity and encouraging innovative and
                sustainable economic activity.

OO-4            Strengthen the town and villages throughout the area, improve the
                infrastructure provided, sustainably develop the critical mass necessary to
                maintain and expand the service provision within them, and make them
                more attractive places in which to live while protecting features of
                biodiversity and cultural importance.

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KERRY COUNTY COUNCIL
March 2013.                                                                               12
The related / complementary variation to the Kerry County Development Plan 2009 –
2015
The reason for the related variation to the Kerry County Development Plan 2009 – 2015 is
to incorporate the provisions of the Functional Area Local Area Plan and to amend the
zoning of lands within the plan area, including those at and adjacent to the settlements so
as to reflect the provisions of the FALAP.

The related variation seeks to amend existing zonings within these settlements and the
contiguous rural areas. In certain instances, the variation also seeks to amend zonings
outside of the settlements. In addition the variation would give effect to Objective SS 3-
10(a) of the County Development Plan which states:- It is an objective of the Council to
‘Prepare local area plans for each of the functional areas of the County during the lifetime
of the plan in accordance with relevant legislation including the Planning and
Development (Strategic Environmental Assessment) Regulations 2004’.

The variation will involve the inclusion of a map indicating the extent of the Functional
Areas Local Area Plan and indicating the settlements within this plan. The maps which
will be included as part of the variation will be included in the County Development Plan
indicating the area of the Functional Area Local Area Plan and also the settlements
contained within it for which policies, objectives and zoning provisions have been
included within the Functional Area Local Area Plan.

As part of the variation maps of the Kerry County Development Plan 2009-2015 will be
amended to reflect the amendments to rural zoning and the urban zoning of the settlements
in accordance with the provisions of the Functional Area Local Area Plan.

3.3. Description of other strategies and plans reviewed to identify
   potential in-combination effects on Natura 2000 Sites.
In this section of the report, other strategies, plans, programmes and projects are described
in order to consider the potential for ‘in combination’ effects. ‘In combination’ is taken to
refer to the cumulative effect of influences acting on sites from all plans and projects in the
context of prevailing environmental conditions. Underlying environmental trends such as
sea level rises, climate change and increased flood risk were also taken into account.

Strategy/Plan/       Overview of Policy Direction:
Programme/
Project
UN Convention        The UN Convention on Biological Diversity was a direct result of the Earth Summit
on      Biological   in Rio de Janeiro. It came into force in 1993, being ratified by Ireland in 1996. Its
Diversity            objective is the conservation of global biodiversity, as well as to ensure equitable
                     access to the world’s genetic resources.

                     It requires each party to develop strategies, plans or programmes for the
                     conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and that these should be
                     integrated into other national initiatives that may have biodiversity implications.
                     Monitoring programmes and appropriate designations for protected areas must be
                     established, while undesirable alien species which threaten ecosystems should be
                     controlled. In April 2002, the Parties to the Convention committed themselves to
                     achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at
                     global, regional and national levels.

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KERRY COUNTY COUNCIL
March 2013.                                                                                          13
Strategy/Plan/     Overview of Policy Direction:
Programme/
Project
Agenda 21          Agenda 21 was the main outcome of the United Nations’ Conference on
                   Environment and Development that was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. That
                   Conference endorsed the concept of sustainable development, requiring that
                   economic growth must be compatible with the needs of both present and future
                   generations and that environmental protection should form an integral part of the
                   development process. These principles are required to be supported by a
                   precautionary approach, which ensures that an absence of complete scientific
                   certainty is not a justification of postponing measures to prevent environmental
                   degradation. The key role of EIA is stressed in respect of activities that may have a
                   significant affect on the environment. Local Agenda 21 aims to promote sustainable
                   development at local and regional level.
Johannesburg       This international policy initiative sets out an action plan for the implementation of
Plan          of   the activities adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. It
Implementation     covers topics such as poverty eradication, changing unsustainable patterns of
                   production and consumption, managing natural resources, sustainable development
                   and other aspects of the implementation of Agenda 21.
Kyoto Protocol     The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement made under the United Nations’ Framework
                   Convention on Climate Change. It was decided in December 1997 and entered into
                   force on 16 February 2005. Its objective is to substantially reduce greenhouse gas
                   emissions as a response to climate change. Developed countries, the so-called Annex
                   I states, have to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by a collective average of 5%
                   below their 1990 levels. An Annex I country which fails to meet its Kyoto
                   obligation is subject to possible penalties, although the Protocol also makes
                   provision for flexible mechanisms which permit the purchasing of greenhouse gas
                   emission allowances from other states. The National Climate Change Strategy sets
                   out how Ireland is participating in this process.
The    European    The Integrated Maritime Policy Action Plan from 2007 set out a particularly
Integrated         ambitious work programme. It included new working methods, cross-cutting tools
Maritime Policy    and a wide range of specific actions that aimed to benefit the maritime economy,
and Action Plan    protect marine environment, strengthen research and innovation, foster development
(2007)             in coastal and outermost regions, address international maritime affairs, and raise the
                   visibility of Europe's maritime dimension.

Sustainable        The aim outlined for Ireland in our first sustainable development strategy, published
Development – A    in 1997, was "to ensure that economy and society in Ireland can develop to their full
Strategy     for   potential within a well protected environment, without compromising the quality of
Ireland 1997       that environment and with responsibility towards present and future generations and
                   the wider international community".

                   The principal goals and polices defined in the 1997 publication Sustainable
                   Development: A Strategy for Ireland continue to inform the development and
                   delivery of policies and programmes in the area of environmental protection and
                   sustainable development. The integration of environmental considerations into other
                   policy areas is a key means of securing balanced development.
National Spatial   The identification of development corridors is only the initial step in the process of
Strategy  2002-    balanced regional development. The success of the spatial strategy in its role of
2020               achieving strong and sustainable economic growth is dependent on a number of
                   factors including the development of an area’s Potential, Critical Mass and
                   Linkages.

                   The NSS, prepared by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local
                   Government is a twenty-year planning framework designed to achieve a better
                   balance of social, economic, and physical development, and population growth
                   between regions. Its focus is on people, on places and on building communities.

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KERRY COUNTY COUNCIL
March 2013.                                                                                         14
Strategy/Plan/       Overview of Policy Direction:
Programme/
Project

                     Implementation of the NSS at regional and local level is through the formulation of
                     guidelines, integrated planning frameworks, Development Plans and strategies.

                     The NSS has identified the important need to support the role of smaller towns,
                     villages and rural areas at the local level.
Making Ireland’s     This document focuses on the link between economic activity and pressures on the
Development          environment. Sustainable development emerged as an idea in the late 1980s and led
Sustainable 2002     to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. At the Summit, world leaders agreed
                     to implement an action programme for sustainable development called, Agenda 21.
                     The Irish Government published Sustainable Development: A Strategy for Ireland in
                     1997 which applies Agenda 21 in Irish circumstances.

                     Making Ireland’s Development Sustainable reviews progress with sustainable
                     development in Ireland since Rio, assesses the challenge we now face and sets out
                     policies and actions to meet that challenge.
National Climate     This National Climate Change Strategy 2007-2012 was published in April 2007,
Change Strategy,     develops from the 2000 Climate Change Strategy, and it builds on the commitment
2007-2012            to sustainable development set out in Towards 2016 taking into account the review
                     contained in Ireland’s Pathway to Kyoto Compliance (2006). Its purpose is to
                     demonstrate how Ireland is to meet its 2008-2012 Kyoto commitments and to
                     identify further policy measures needed for the period from 2012 and after 2020.
National             The National Development Plan 2007 – 2013 Transforming Ireland — A Better
Development          Quality of Life for All is a blueprint for the economic and social development of the
Plan 2007- 2013      Country up until 2013. One of the principal objectives of the plan is to promote
                     balanced regional development. This plan builds on the previous NDP which
                     identified the need for a National Spatial Strategy, in order to promote regional
                     development throughout the country by the identification of a number of
                     development corridors as Gateways and Hubs in individual regions. These
                     development corridors have been designated to act as development growth areas that
                     will be promoted in terms of infrastructure and investment to act as economic
                     drivers for their region.

                     The five ‘Investment Priorities’ of the plan are Economic Infrastructure; Enterprise,
                     Science and Innovation; Human Capital; Social Infrastructure; and Social Inclusion.
Delivering       a   Sub-titled the Energy Policy Framework 2007–2020, this document addresses how
Sustainable          Ireland is to respond to international energy supply issues in the context of severe
Energy     Future    limitations on indigenous fuel supplies. Recognising that 90% of energy is currently
For Ireland - The    imported the White Paper sets down a series of strategic goals.
Energy      Policy
Framework 2007       These include actions relating to security of energy supply, of which the
– 2020 (White        development of additional electrical inter-connectors with other European Countries
Paper)               is a particular priority. Other measures include ensuring fuel diversity, the upgrading
                     of the national transmission networks, stimulating hydrocarbon exploration and
                     contingency planning in respect of possible energy supply disruption. The
                     sustainable supply and use of energy is also a theme, with policy proposals to
                     address climate change and energy efficiency. In relation to the use of renewables, a
                     highly ambitious 33% contribution to electricity generation by 2020 is proposed.

                     The main areas within which the strategic goals are framed are:
                     •        Actions to ensure security of energy supply;
                     •        Actions to promote the sustainability of energy supply and use;
                     •        Actions to enhance competitiveness of energy supply;
                     Integrated approach to delivery.

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March 2013.                                                                                           15
Strategy/Plan/       Overview of Policy Direction:
Programme/
Project
Grid 25 (Eirgrid     Eirgrid, which is the Transmission System Operator (TSO), has put in place an
2008)                infrastructure initiative / strategy until 2025 (Grid 25) aimed at facilitating reliable,
                     secure and affordable electricity supplies throughout Ireland. Aims include:-

                     • Supporting growth in the regions and ensuring continued reliability and security
                     of supply;
                     • Providing high-quality, high voltage bulk power supply for Ireland that will
                     enable the different regions to attract in future industry and boost existing industry;
                     • Exploiting Ireland’s natural renewable sources of energy (wind and wave);
                     • Reducing Ireland’s carbon emissions by transmitting renewable energy in line
                     with Government policy;
                     • Increasing Ireland’s connectivity to the European Grid, allowing for both bulk
                     exports of electricity and imports of electricity when appropriate.

Actions       for    ‘Actions for Biodiversity 2011-2016’ builds upon the achievements of the previous
Biodiversity         plan and focuses on actions that were not fully completed and addresses emerging
2011-2016.           issues. It has been developed in line with the EU and International Biodiversity
Irelands National    strategies and policies. The measures Ireland will take are presented as 102 actions
Biodiversity Plan    under a series of 7 Strategic Objectives. The objectives cover the conservation of
(2011-2016)          biodiversity in the wider countryside and in the marine environment, both within
                     and outside protected areas; the mainstreaming of biodiversity across the decision
                     making process in the State; the strengthening of the knowledge base on
                     biodiversity; increasing public awareness and participation; and Ireland’s
                     contribution to international biodiversity issues, including North South co-ordination
                     on issues of common interest.
National             The purpose of the National Heritage Plan is to set out a clear and coherent strategy
Heritage      Plan   and framework for the protection and enhancement of Ireland’s heritage over the
2002                 five years from 2002.

                     The goals of the National Heritage Plan are in line with the principles underlying the
                     Government’s Policy Statement on Heritage. The Plan is published with the
                     endorsement of the Government, in fulfilment of a clear commitment in the
                     Government’s Action Programme for the Millennium.
The     Economic     The DEHLG document The Economic and Social Aspects of Biodiversity – Benefits
and         Social   and Costs of Bio-diversity in Ireland made significant progress in identifying overall
Aspects         of   biodiversity patterns across the country and a map was produced indicating
Biodiversity     –   biodiversity index value.
Benefits      and
Costs of Bio-
diversity       in
Ireland
Waste                Published in 1998, Waste Management - Changing our Ways, sets out a national
Management       -   policy framework for the adoption and implementation by local authorities of their
Changing     Our     waste management plans.
Ways (1998)
                     This was the first in a series of comprehensive government policy documents on the
                     management of waste in Ireland. It endorsed the integrated waste management
                     approach, based on the internationally adopted hierarchy of options which places
                     greatest emphasis on waste prevention, followed by minimisation, re-use, recycling,
                     energy recovery and finally, the environmentally sustainable disposal of residual
                     waste.
National Strategy    The National Strategy for Biodegradable Waste was published in April 2006, being
for                  an obligation on Ireland under the Landfill Directive. An aim is to set out how the

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March 2013.                                                                                             16
Strategy/Plan/      Overview of Policy Direction:
Programme/
Project
Biodegradable       three progressive landfill diversion targets of the Directive are to have effect. While
Waste               significant progress in the development of recycling and waste reclamation
                    initiatives is noted, the continuing national dependency on landfill is described as
                    substantial. It states that a major increase in recycling and biological treatment
                    capacity is necessary in order to facilitate the EU requirements for the diversion of
                    biodegradable municipal waste away from landfill.
National            The Primary objective of the National Hazardous Waste Management Plan is to
Hazardous           prevent the production of hazardous waste and to minimise the effect of hazardous
Waste               waste on the environment.
Management
Plan                The secondary objective is to manage hazardous waste in such a manner is to ensure
                    that environmental pollution is minimised and not transferred from one medium to
                    another; in other words to bring about a qualitative reduction in the quantity of
                    hazardous waste requiring management.
OPW Guidelines      The OPW provide guidance on Planning Policy in relation to flooding. The policy
on                  which the Planning Authority should adopt is ‘Development should not itself be
Flood Risk 2005     subject to an inappropriate risk of flooding nor should it cause or exacerbate such a
                    risk at other locations’.
The    Planning     These guidelines require the planning system at national, regional and local levels
System     and      to:
Flood      Risk
Management          •         Avoid development in areas at risk of flooding by not permitting
(DEHLG 2009)        development in flood risk areas, particularly floodplains, unless where it is fully
                    justified that there are wider sustainability grounds for appropriate development and
                    unless the flood risk can be managed to an acceptable level without increasing flood
                    risk elsewhere and where possible, reducing flood risk overall;
                    •         Adopt a sequential approach to flood risk management based on avoidance,
                    reduction and then mitigation of flood risk as the overall framework for assessing
                    the location of new development in the development
                    •         Incorporate flood risk assessment into the process of making decisions on
                    planning applications and planning appeals.

                    Ensuring that the requirements of EU and national law in relation to the natural
                    environment and nature conservation are complied with at all stages of flood risk
                    management is a core objective of the draft guidelines.
Sustainable         These guidelines set out in detail how the Government’s policies on rural housing
Rural Housing       are to be implemented by planning authorities in making their development plans
Guidelines          and in the operation of the development control system to ensure a vibrant future for
(DEHLG 2005)        all rural areas.

                    While these guidelines facilitate the sustainable development of one-off houses in
                    the open countryside, they also make it clear that in considering development
                    proposals, including the attachment of planning conditions, planning authorities
                    should only consider approving proposals they are satisfied will not adversely affect
                    the integrity of Natura 2000 designated areas.
Sustainable         This guidance document revises and updates the Residential Density Guidelines for
Residential         Planning Authorities published in 1999. The guidelines are focused on creating
Development in      sustainable communities by incorporating the highest design standards and
Urban       Areas   providing a coordinated approach to the delivery of essential infrastructure and
(DEHLG 2009)        services.
Regional            Strategic Goals
Tourism             1. Build on the region’s position as Ireland’s leading tourism destination outside of
Development         Dublin, by focusing on innovative developments and marketing while delivering top
Plan     2008-20    quality experiences based on the region’s natural and cultural assets and well-

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March 2013.                                                                                          17
Strategy/Plan/      Overview of Policy Direction:
Programme/
Project
(Fáilte   Ireland   established range of leisure and business tourism facilities.
South West)
                    Specifically:
                    • Deliver high quality nature-based holiday experiences integrating wellness with
                    adventure and related activities ‘Nature and Nurture’, based around established
                    tourism service centres in counties Kerry and Cork
                    • Position the City of Cork as a principal gateway to the region and as a major
                    urban destination for business and leisure visitors
                    • Exploit the maritime heritage and indigenous strengths of the region’s coastal
                    environs
                    • Capitalise on the tourism potential of country pursuits and the cultural and
                    linguistic heritage of the rural areas of Cork and Kerry.

                    2. Improve transportation links to and within the region
Water               These provide for a programme of measures and a river basin management strategy,
Framework           designed to achieve at least good status for all waters and to maintain high status
Directive / River   where it exists. The plan area is located within the South West and Shannon
Basin               International River Basin Districts. River Basin Management Plans, sub basin
Management          management plans and programmes of measures have been developed for each of
Plans               these River Basin Districts.
Waste               Kerry, Limerick, Clare Waste Management Plan which covers the period from 2006-
Management          11. Cork City Council and Cork County Council carried out a joint Waste
Plans               Management Strategy for Cork in 1995. These Plans detail the amount of waste
                    being generated in the Counties, the progress made since the previous Plans were
                    introduced and how it is proposed to minimize and treat the waste that is produced in
                    the Counties going forward. The concept of Reduction, Re-use and Recycling is
                    fundamental to Regions Waste Management Plans.

Kerry     County    The County Development Plan sets out an overall strategy for the proper planning
Development         and sustainable development of the County. The following are the overall objectives
Plan 2009-2015      of the Plan.

                    OS 2-1: Provide an improved quality of life for all the citizens of the area by
                    promoting the area’s economic potential, protecting its natural and built environment
                    and safeguarding its cultural heritage.
                    OS 2-2: Provide for the development of the area in a manner which is sustainable
                    and protects its social, cultural, environmental and economic assets for future
                    generations and is compliant with relevant EU and national legislation.
                    OS 2-3: Provide for balanced growth throughout the area by promoting the
                    strengthening of rural communities and provide the infrastructure to facilitate job
                    creation in these areas.
                    OS 2-4: Strengthen towns and villages throughout the County, improve the
                    infrastructure provided, develop the critical mass necessary to maintain and expand
                    the service provision within them, and make them more attractive places in which to
                    live. In this plan, the term village is used to describe a close group of contiguous
                    dwellings and services including shops etc. with a defined urban structure. It does
                    not include a grouping of one-off rural housing dispersed over a townland or group
                    of townlands.
                    OS 2-5: Promote the development of the Tralee Killarney Hub as a means of
                    strengthening the economic base of the County and acting as a focus for inward
                    investment.
                    OS 2-6: Ensure that the existing provisions, including land-use zoning, of the
                    adopted Local Area Plans will remain in force pending their review during the
                    lifetime of this Plan.

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Strategy/Plan/     Overview of Policy Direction:
Programme/
Project
                   OS 2-7: Provide a high quality of design in private and public development,
                   increasing the quality of the public realm while maintaining the character, form and
                   settlement pattern of the villages.
                   OS 2-8: Provide the infrastructure and support for the development and expansion of
                   employment opportunities, including indigenous knowledge based industries.
                   OS 2-9: Protect the linguistic and cultural heritage of the County and promote Irish
                   as the living community language.
                   OS 2-10: Promote renewable energy measures and sustainable settlement patterns in
                   order to promote energy conservation and sustainable communities and travel
                   patterns in the future.
                   OS 2-11: Protect the landscape of the County as an economic asset in addition to its
                   intrinsic beauty and amenity value.
                   OS 2-12: Facilitate where possible, in accordance with proper planning and
                   sustainable development, family members on their own land.
                   OS 2-13: To ensure that the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will be
                   incorporated into development management and policy formulation in the county.
                   OS 2-14: To protect and promote the natural biodiversity of the County through
                   development management and as a core principle of policy formulation.
                   OS 2-15: Ensure that all plans and programmes during the lifetime of this plan are
                   screened for the requirements of Directive 2001/42/EC on the assessment of the
                   effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment – The SEA Directive
                   and the associated Planning and Development (Strategic Environmental
                   Assessment) Regulations, 2004.
                   OS 2-8: Provide the infrastructure and support for the development and expansion of
                   employment opportunities, including indigenous knowledge based industries.
                   OS 2-9: Protect the linguistic and cultural heritage of the County and promote Irish
                   as the living community language. OS 2-10: Promote renewable energy measures
                   and sustainable settlement patterns in order to promote energy conservation and
                   sustainable communities and travel patterns in the future.
                   OS 2-11: Protect the landscape of the County as an economic asset in addition to its
                   intrinsic beauty and amenity value.
                   OS 2-12: Facilitate where possible, in accordance with proper planning and
                   sustainable development, family members on their own land.
                   OS 2-13: To ensure that the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will be
                   incorporated into development management and policy formulation in the county.
                   OS 2-14: To protect and promote the natural biodiversity of the County through
                   development management and as a core principle of policy formulation.
                   OS 2-15: Ensure that all plans and programmes during the lifetime of this plan are
                   screened for the requirements of Directive 2001/42/EC on the assessment of the
                   effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment – The SEA Directive
                   and the associated Planning and Development (Strategic Environmental
                   Assessment) Regulations, 2004.
Kerry     County   This document outlines a series of policies aims and actions to deal with education,
Council Heritage   access, research and management of the county’s heritage and biodiversity assets.
and Biodiversity
Plan 2008-2012
Kerry        and   A number of Noise Action Plans have been prepared by the Local Authorities in the
Limerick Noise     Region to address environmental noise.
Action Plans
                   There plans are prepared as per the requirements of the Environmental Noise
                   Directive. The aim of the Directive and subsequent Regulations is to provide for the
                   implementation of an EC common approach to avoid, prevent or reduce on a
                   prioritised basis the harmful effects, including annoyance, due to exposure to
                   environmental noise. Environmental noise is unwanted or harmful outdoor sound
                   created by human activities, including noise emitted by means of transport, road

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Strategy/Plan/    Overview of Policy Direction:
Programme/
Project
                  traffic, rail traffic, air traffic and noise in agglomerations over a specified size.

                  Types of noise not included in the Regulations are noise that is caused by the
                  exposed person, noise from domestic activities, noise created by neighbours, noise at
                  workplaces or noise inside means of transport or due to military activities in military
                  areas.
Kerry Strategic   The Kerry Strategic Water Study was commissioned to consider the water services
Water Study       of Kerry over a 25 year period. It identifies the need for priority investment in both
                  water and waste water treatment in the County.
Shannon Estuary   Kerry County Council in conjunction with Clare County Council, Limerick City
Strategic         and County Councils, Shannon Development and the Shannon Foynes Port
Integrated        Company have commissioned a land and marine based plan for the future
                  development and management of marine-related industry and tourism along the
Framework Plan,
                  Estuary. This plan - the Strategic Integrated Framework Plan (SIFP) – was published
Draft 2012.       in draft form in December 2012. It is intended that the policies and objectives of the
                  SIFP, as they relate to each participating authority’s Functional Area, will be
                  incorporated into the development plans of those planning authorities. In the case of
                  Kerry County Council the adopted SIFP will be incorporated into the Kerry County
                  Development Plan 2015 -2021.
Shannon and       The Office of Public Works are working in partnership with consultants, Local
South West        Authorities and other stakeholders to deliver the CFRAM Study for the Shannon and
Catchment Flood   South West River Basin Districts (RBD). Work will be completed by December
Risk Assessment   2015.
and Management
Study             The study will focus on areas known to have experienced flooding in the past and
                  areas that may be subject to flooding in the future either due to development
                  pressures or climate change. The final output from the study will be Catchment
                  Flood Risk Management Plans, to be published in December 2015. The plans will
                  define the current and future flood risk in the area and set out how this risk can be
                  managed.
The    Offshore   The Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources drafted an
Renewable         Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP) in 2010. It sets out low,
Energy            medium and high scenarios for the development of offshore energy in the country.
                  Up to 4,500 MW from offshore wind energy and 1,500 MW from wave and tidal
Development
                  energy are envisaged for Irish waters up to 2030. The OREDP also sets out a longer
Plan (OREDP),     term vision for the growth of the offshore renewable energy sector in Ireland
2010

3.4. Key elements of the plan, alone or in combination with other
   projects or plans, that were considered to have the potential for
   having significant effects on Natura 2000 sites
Having considered the key elements of the plan document including the related /
complementary variation in addition to other projects and plans; it is considered that the
following elements have the potential for having significant effects on Natura 2000 sites

•        Population, Housing and Employment Targets
•        Recreation and Amenity Strategy
•        Infrastructure Proposals

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March 2013.                                                                                               20
4. Characteristics of the Natura 2000 Sites
4.1. Introduction
This is the third step of Stage One Screening, the purpose of which is map and tabulate the
information available on all Natura 2000 sites within or immediately adjoining the region.
As part of this, reasons for site designation and environmental conditions necessary to
support site integrity will be indicated, where possible. It should be noted that Natura 2000
sites include Special Protection Areas (SPAs), Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) as
well as proposed sites awaiting approval – potential SPAs (pSPAs) and candidate SACs
(cSACs).

4.2. Identification and consideration of Natura 2000 sites located within
   or immediately adjoining the plan area in situ and ex situ
There are a number of Natura 2000 sites which may potentially be affected by the Plan. In
this section of the report the information available on Natura 2000 sites within or
immediately adjoining the plan area in situ and ex situ are mapped and tabulated, as
appropriate. In general ex situ sites are those located within 15km from the nearest Plan
Area Boundary and for the purposes of this assessment, include the following Natura 2000
sites:-

Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)
   • Site Name: Akeragh, Banna and Barrow Harbour SAC (000332)
   • Site Name: Castlemaine Harbour SAC (000343)
   • Site Name: Old Domestic Building, Dromore Wood SAC (000353)
   • Site Name: Kilgarvan Ice House SAC (000364)
   • Site Name: Killarney National Park, Macgillycuddy's Reeks and Caragh River
       Catchment SAC (000365)
   • Site Name: Lough Yganavan and Lough Nambrackdarrig SAC (000370)
   • Site Name: Mount Brandon SAC (000375)
   • Site Name: Sheheree (Ardagh) Bog SAC (000382)
   • Site Name: Cloonee and Inchiquin Loughs, Uragh Wood SAC (001342):
   • Site Name: Mucksna Wood SAC (001371)
   • Site Name: Maulagowna Bog SAC (001881)
   • Site Name: Mullaghanish Bog SAC (001890)
   • Site Name: Old Domestic Building, Curraglass Wood SAC (002041)
   • Site Name: Tralee Bay and Magharees Peninsula, West to Cloghane SAC
       (002070):
   • Site Name: Old Domestic Building, Askive Wood SAC (002098):
   • Site Name: Ballyseedy Wood SAC (002112)
   • Site Name: Kenmare River SAC (002158)
   • Site Name: Lower River Shannon SAC (002165)
   • Site Name: Blackwater River (Cork/Waterford) SAC (002170)
   • Site Name: Blackwater River (Kerry) SAC (002173)
   • Site Name: Slieve Mish Mountains SAC (002185)
   • Site Name: Magharee Islands SAC (002261)

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March 2013.                                                                           21
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