What is a SINC?
Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs) are designations applied to the most important nature conservation sites in the West Midlands. Sites can be designated for both their ecology and geological interest. They are of lesser quality than the nationally or internationally important Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Sites are designated in accordance with a published list of criteria and the system is operated across Birmingham and the Black Country by the council's supported by Natural England, The Black Country Biodiversity Partnership and the Wildlife Trusts for Birmingham and the Black Country.
What protection are they offered?
SINCs do not receive statutory protection but are protected from damaging development by local and national planning policy. Recently published government guidance provides advice to councils and others on identifying and maintaining a network of SINCs. In Birmingham and the Black Country the SINC designation applies to only those sites with a regionally important nature conservation interest.
Who is responsible for identifying these sites?
Walsall’s SINCs are identified by a partnership of council officers, Natural England, the Black Country Geodiversity Partnership, the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country and EcoRecord.
How will they affect me in my planning application?
It is the councils practice to consult English Nature and the Urban Wildlife Trust on any planning application proposing development which is likely to affect a SINC.
How many of these sites are there?
The council has 36 Sites of Important Nature Conservation within its boundaries. The current sites are listed below. Click on the links below to get more information.