There are restrictions on what activities and developments you can do if your business might affect a designated or protected area.

Designated or protected areas include:

  • National Parks
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs)
  • Marine Conservation Zones
  • Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)
  • Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)
  • Special Protection Areas (SPAs)
  • Ramsar sites
  • local wildlife sites

Designated and protected areas can be different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Search for protected areas

Check if your business is next to a protected area in:

If your business is in or next to a designated area

Contact your local council to find out what restrictions apply to your business.

When opening a new business that may affect a designated area you may need to:

  • get permission for your site from your local council
  • carry out an ecological survey, eg of local wildlife to find out if there are any protected species that might be affected by your business
  • carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

EIA’s can be different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Newly designated areas

You’ll be contacted about any new restrictions if your business might affect a newly designated area.

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