Legislation and policies – Scotland

National legislation

Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 1994 (as amended)

The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Amendment (Scotland) Regulations (as amended) brings into Scottish law the Habitat Regulations.

Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011

Under the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act transposes the Wildlife and Countryside Act into Scottish law. Under this legislation a person shall be guilty of an offence if they intentionally (or recklessly):

  • kill, injure or take any wild bird,
  • take, damage or destroy (or otherwise interfere with) the nest of any wild bird while that nest is in use or being built,
  • take or destroy an egg of any wild bird; and
  • obstruct or prevent any wild bird from using its nest.

It is an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb a species, listed under Schedule 1 of the Act, which is at, on, or near an active nest site. Certain species are afforded special protection under Schedule 1 only during the close season (1 February – 31 August) but may be killed or taken outside of this period. These species consist of goldeneye, pintail and (in the Outer Hebrides, Caithness, Sutherland and Wester Ross only) greylag goose (Anser anser). Species whose nests are afforded special protection at any time regardless of breeding status in Scotland are golden eagle and white-tailed eagle.

Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004

The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act provides a series of measures for the conservation of biodiversity and the protection and enhancement of the biological and geological natural heritage of Scotland, requiring public bodies to consider the effect of their actions at local, regional, national and international levels.

Planning Policies

The Scottish Planning Policy provides guidance on how nationally important land use planning matters should be addressed within Scotland.

The policy sets our the priorities for the operation of the planning system, for development and the use of land. The policy specifically relates to:

  • the preparation of development plans,
  • the design of development, from initial concept through to delivery; and
  • the determination of planning applications and appeals.

Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017

The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations governs the process of EIAs where granted planning permission. This legislation implements into Scottish law the EU Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.