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Protected biodiversity sites

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1. European Wildlife Sites

European wildlife sites have strong legal protection against harm from development. They are Special Protection Areas (SPA), Ramsar Sites or Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). We must not grant planning permission for development which has the potential for direct, indirect or in-combination effects on these sites unless any harmful effects will be fully mitigated.

The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 sets out how local planning authorities must deal with such planning applications.

Development may impact on European wildlife sites in a variety of ways, including direct and indirect impacts to the designated land, to the 'special interest' of the designated site and to ‘functionally-linked land’. The special interest may be a mobile species that moves in and out of the designated site.  Functionally-linked land may support the special interest species, or be nearby land with similar habitats to the designated land.”

  • e.g. a distant development may cause a significant impact on the key species when they are away from the designated site.
  • a single development may have a small effect, but when combined with the (small) effects of many other developments, the overall effect can be large.

Exe Estuary Special Protection Area, Ramsar site and European Marine site

Designated primarily for its over-wintering and migrating water birds. This site is partly within Teignbridge, partly in East Devon District and partly in the Exeter City area.

Dawlish Warren Special Area of Conservation

Designated for its dune habitats and for petalwort (Dawlish Warren is also covered by the Exe Estuary SPA designation for birds). This site is entirely within Teignbridge.

South Hams Special Area of Conservation

Designated for its population of greater horseshoe bats. The designated area includes several maternity/hibernation roost sites scattered across Teignbridge, South Hams, Torbay and South East Dartmoor. Natural England's South Hams SAC guidance and South Hams SAC guidance map.

We also have to take account of the impact development within Teignbridge has on other European wildlife sites outside the Teignbridge Planning Area.  These include: Dartmoor SAC, South Dartmoor Woods SAC, East Devon Heaths SPA, East Devon Pebblebed Heaths SAC and Lyme Bay to Torbay Marine SAC.