Protected Sites

Internationally Important Sites and Planning

Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protected Areas (SPA) have been designated in Pembrokeshire under the EC Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive respectively as sites that will make a significant contribution to conserving habitat and species identified as most in need of conservation throughout Europe.

There are several designated SACs in Pembrokeshire and certain aspects of development may impact upon features of the SAC. The Local Planning Authority must make an assessment of the implications of development on the SAC before approving any plan or project by screening the proposals through a Test of Likely Significant Effect (TLSE). If the proposals are likely to have a significant effect an Appropriate Assessment may have to be carried out.

Lesser Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) in cave

Nationally important sites and planning

Within the UK sites that are nationally important for plants, animals or geological or physiographical features are protected by law as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). In Wales there are 1,019 SSSIs and the smallest of these, a lesser horseshoe bat roost, is to be found in Pembrokeshire.

Any proposed development that has the potential to harm nationally, regionally or locally important sites will be carefully assessed in accordance with national planning policy guidance. This is to ensure that sites and species dependent on the sites are protected from any potentially adverse impacts as a result of proposed development.

Map showing protected sites designations in Pembrokeshire

Contact Our Ecologist

Any queries relating to protected species and sites should be directed to our Planning Ecologist via 01646 624800 or

Planning advice