IIAs in Planning

Porth Neigwl © Liam Olds

 Important Invertebrate Areas  About IIAs Selecting and Mapping IIAs Supporting Invertebrate Conservation IIAs in Planning   IIA Landscapes  Single Species IIAs  Using IIA Maps and Profiles FAQ  IIA Data Providers   IIA Document Library 

Important Invertebrate Areas (IIAs) are the best places in Great Britain for our invertebrates, which have been identified using the most up-to-date data available from over 80 national expert recording schemes. They support some of our rarest and most threatened species, vulnerable habitats and unique assemblages of invertebrates.


IIAs in Planning

IIAs are not a legal designation but can help to ensure that key sites for invertebrates are recognised both locally and nationally, and ensure that they are properly considered in planning decisions.

Too often invertebrates have either been overlooked or are a late consideration in planning decisions. This has led to poor outcomes for nature, but a completed suite of IIA maps and profiles will enable: 

  • Important invertebrate sites to be flagged up at the earliest opportunity within planning processes, including in Environmental Impact Assessments.  
  • Better planning outcomes for invertebrates, by identifying the need for invertebrate surveys to properly inform planning decisions. 
  • Local Authorities to better recognise sites and habitats for nationally rare and threatened invertebrates. This is particularly relevant for Local Authorities which don’t have sufficient ecological expertise to support their planning teams. 
  • The very best sites for invertebrates to be excluded from Local Development Plans, ensuring that they are not put at risk of inappropriate land use changes or development. 
  • Local Environmental Records Centres to share a nationally prioritised series of IIA maps, profiles and accompanying resources to support their data search outputs. 
  • Green and Blue Infrastructure plans to properly consider how they could support invertebrate populations by connecting, protecting and restoring habitats.
  • Ecological consultants and professionals to more easily recognise key invertebrate sites, habitats and features, to produce better quality environmental reports.