Duties of Public Bodies concerning ASSIs

ASSIs are designated under The Environment (Northern Ireland) 2002 (as amended) due to the area’s flora, fauna or geological, physiographical or site other site selection features. The Environment Order places certain legal duties and requirements on all Public Bodies.

In Northern Ireland a Public Body includes a Northern Ireland department, a department of the Government of the United Kingdom, a district council, a statutory undertaker or any other body established or constituted under a statutory provision.

In general terms all Public Bodies have a duty to protect and enhance the features for which an ASSI has been designated.  This applies to the normal exercise of the Public Body’s functions.

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) has an online service for operations and activities requiring assent in Areas of Special Scientific Interest.

This online assent service  makes assent applications more convenient, efficient and straightforward. It is linked into NIEA’s Natural Environment map viewer, whereby applicants can easily generate maps, ‘redline’ the area where activity will be carried out and attach it to the application form.

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