asked her Majesty's Government:
Whether, in order to protect the balance of nature, they will in future require local authorities to take account from the outset of the environmental implications of all planning decisions that are likely to have an impact on nature conservation, in rural and urban areas, and to consult the Nature Conservancy Council when appropriate.
The Earl of Caithness
Local planning authorities are advised to consider including policies dealing with conservation in development plans where appropriate. Section 29 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 requires authorities to hare regard to all material considerations when dealing with planning applications. This includes, where appropriate, the effect of a proposal on nature conservation. Under the Town and Country Planning General Development Order 1988, as under its predecessors, authorities are required to consult the Nature Conservancy Council before granting planning permission for development in areas of special scientific interest. In addition, under the Town562WA and Country Planning (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1988, the Nature Conservancy Council must be consulted about all planning applications in respect of which environmental assessment is required under those regulations, whether or not an area of special interest is affected. All these provisions apply in both urban and rural areas.