An Taisces comments on the draft Heritage Plan for County Donegal An Taisce welcomes the preparation of a Heritage Plan for County Donegal. An Taisce would like to suggest the following recommendations: Achieving adherence to the Local Authority’s legal obligations under the Habitats Directive and other environmental legislation cannot be achieved without the preparation in tandem with the Heritage Plan of a full Strategic Environmental Assessment and Habitats Directive Assessment. The policy recommendations of the National Biodiversity Plan 2010 – 2015 should be fully incorporated into the Heritage Plan. The Heritage Plan should seek suggest more Architectural Conservation Areas (ACA’s) and Special Planning Control Schemes for future inclusion in the Development Plan. S.48 development levies for Protected Structures should be waived to encourage sensitive reuse and adaptation. Important views and prospects must be protected The Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines for Planning Authorities must be implemented in full. The Heritage Plan must include a detailed implementation and monitoring schedule which outlines the manner in which the Heritage Plan envisages the future development of the area. A designated implementation officer must be appointed to oversee the implementation of the Heritage Plan and ensure joined up thinking between development management, forward planning, environment, service, infrastructure provision etc. Conclusion The success or otherwise of the forthcoming Heritage Plan can only be judged against verifiable and implementable criteria which are subject to ongoing monitoring. We look forward to making further submissions to the Heritage Plan in due course. Download the full submission here.