Activities requiring consent (ARCs) in SACs

Activities requiring consent (ARCs) are specific activities which have the potential to damage a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) or Special Protection Area (SPA).  SACs and SPAs are collectively termed ‘European sites’ or ‘Natura 2000 sites’. 

A list of 38 ARCs has been established, ranging from “Reclamation, including infilling” to “Lighting up caves, buildings or other places used by bats for roosts”.  The particular ARC or ARCs attached to a European Site depends on the habitats and/or species for which the site is protected.

See the complete list of 38 ARCS here.

ARCs are not prohibited activities but before being carried out, consent must be granted by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage (‘the Minister’) or by another relevant public authority to which the consent function for that activity falls.  

This prior consent requirement ensures that the Minister (or the relevant competent authority) carries out the necessary environmental assessment to determine if the activity can take place and if any conditions should be attached to any consent given. 

It is an offence to carry out an ARC without prior consent.

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